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Mary Bretscher Announces Retirement from Coaching

April 12, 2012

DSC 0326Greencastle, Ind. - Mary Bretscher, DePauw's women's swimming and diving head coach since 1974, has announced her retirement from the position. She will continue in her role as Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Associate Athletics Director and Aquatics Director. A national search to name her successor is underway.

"I've loved coaching at DePauw and working with our student-athletes," Bretscher said. "There are so many great memories, but I also look forward to continuing to serve DePauw's athletics program in an administrative role."

"While Mary will no longer be the head women's swimming coach, we know that she will continue to positively influence students and other staff members as she continues in her teaching and administrative roles," said Stevie Baker-Watson, DePauw's Theodore Katula Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports. "I am truly thankful for Mary's dedication to DePauw University and, personally, for the friendship that we have developed in just a short time."

bretschercoachingBretscher came to DePauw in August 1974 after earning a bachelor of arts degree in physical education from Western Michigan University. In 1978, she obtained a master of science degree in physical education from Indiana University.

She started the DePauw women's swimming and diving program in 1974 and built it into a regular participant at the national championships.

During her career, she has coached three of DePauw's 18 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients and five student-athletes who have earned a total of eight Academic All-America awards.

Her teams have earned the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Team Scholar All America award all 25 years of its existence. Additionally, 23 student-athletes earned a total of 48 CSCAA Scholar All-America Awards.

In the pool, 33 student-athletes have earned all-America or honorable mention all-America honors during Bretscher's tenure. Additionally, Bretscher coached Midi Smyth who was the NCAA Division III 100-yard backstroke national champion in 1985 and is one of four DePauw individual national champions in any sport.

DePauw swimmers competed in 27 of the 31 NCAA Division III Championships since the national meet began in 1982 and the Tigers scored in 20 of those Championships. Only 26 other Division III programs have scored in at least 20 meets. Two teams earned top-10 finishes and six finished in the top 20. Bretscher's 1985 squad finished seventh in Division III, while the 2008 team was ninth. 

Bretscher led the Tigers to a fourth-place finish at this year's North Coast Athletic Conference Championships and top-three finishes in all 13 years in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference including a conference title in 2003. She and the coaching staff earned conference staff of the year honors four times in the SCAC. Bretscher's teams posted a 185-133 record in dual meets including a 129-52 mark over the last 20 seasons.

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