Courtesy of Fredonia Sports Information Department
FREDONIA, N.Y. - At the end of the academic year, Fredonia Director of Athletics Greg Prechtl announced his retirement after 44 years as a coach and athletic administrator.
"It is with mixed emotions," Mr. Prechtl said, "that I announce my retirement from a position that I have loved so much and has been such a huge part of my life at this university. It has truly been an honor to have served my alma mater in a number of different capacities -- every one of which I have enjoyed. I suspect few people have taken as much pleasure in their work."
"Over the course of my career I was blessed with some very gifted athletes, committed coaches, and an extremely dedicated support staff. I am proud of the balanced approach we all took to athletics where success in the classroom and the character development of our athletes has been as valued as our success on the field. Together we have accomplished a great deal at Fredonia. I will be forever grateful to those who supported me and my family and helped make our tenure at Fredonia such a rewarding one."
Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Cedric Howard said Mr. Prechtl -- whose last scheduled day is June 19 -- will assume the title of Athletic Director Emeritus and will continue to oversee the Blue Devil Booster Club. Dr. Howard said Associate Director of Athletics Megan Valentine will serve as interim director of athletics until Mr. Prechtl's successor is found. A national search is scheduled to begin in mid-June.
"Greg should be considered a pillar of the profession," Dr. Howard said. "His contribution not just to Fredonia but to Western New York and to the SUNYAC has simply been remarkable. If you look over the totality of his career, whether it be as a coach or as an athletic administrator, you realize he was a part of. some of the brightest moments in our campus's sports history. He certainly is one of the faces that is on the Mount Rushmore of Fredonia history, not just in athletics but in campus history."
Dr. Howard said the university will establish an endowment to honor Prechtl and his wife, Linda, with a retirement and naming ceremony planned for Saturday, October 21, during Homecoming Weekend. Details will be announced during the summer.
A native of Dunkirk, N.Y., Prechtl graduated from Cardinal Mindszenty High School before enrolling at then Fredonia State in the fall of 1965. Except for one year studying at the University of Oklahoma and one year of teaching, he has been associated with the campus ever since. He is the holder of two Fredonia degrees -- a Bachelor of Arts in English (1969) and a Master of Arts in Education (1972). He taught high school English in the Gowanda, N.Y., Central School District for one year before receiving his first Fredonia appointment as Alumni Hall Residence Director on Aug. 8, 1973. At the same time, he became assistant men's basketball coach. He was elevated to head coach in 1978, a job he held for 21 seasons.
Mr. Prechtl guided the Blue Devils to the championship of the 1984-85 ECAC Upstate Tournament, the first post-season championship in program history. His 1991-92 team posted a program-best 22-9 record and the 1992-93 team won the SUNYAC championship and made the program's only NCAA Tournament appearance. In 1992, he was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year, New York State Division III Coach of the Year, and National Association of Basketball Coaches East Region Coach of the Year. He twice received the Schoenfeld Award from the College Basketball Officials Organization as the college coach who best exemplified the highest degree of sportsmanship, character, and ethics.
He served as assistant athletic director from 1990 to 1998 before he took over as director of athletics in 1998. Facility projects during his tenure included the Steele Hall Natatorium, University Stadium, the Blue Devil Fitness Center, and and an on-campus softball field. Since 1998, he has served as director of the Blue Devil Booster Club and the Blue Devil Hall of Fame Committee. He has also served on numerous SUNYAC and campus committees and as president of the Rotary Club of Fredonia. He received Rotary International's Paul Harris Fellow award (2000-01). Additional awards include the Fredonia Alumni Association Outstanding Achievement Award (1994) and the Fredonia President's Award for Excellence (2006).
In addition to working at Fredonia, Mr. Prechtl has served as director of the Chautauqua Boys' and Girls' Club since 1987. He and his wife have three grown children and three grandchildren.