Mary Bretscher
Induction Year: 2017
Sport (s): Coach, Women's Swimming and Diving
MARY MURPHY BRETSCHER, coach and administrator, started the DePauw women’s swimming and diving program in 1974 and served as head coach for 38 years before retiring in 2012. During that time, she coached three NCAA Postgraduate Scholars and five student-athletes who earned eight Academic All-America awards. She also mentored 33 student-athletes to all-America or honorable mention all-America honors. Bretscher coached DePauw’s first female individual national champion when Midi Smyth captured the 100-yard backstroke title at the 1985 Division III Championships. The Tigers competed in 27 of 31 NCAA Division III Championships since the national meet began in 1982 with the 1985 team finishing seventh and the 2008 squad placing eighth. DePauw teams scored in 20 of those championships with only 26 other Division III programs scoring in at least 20 during that time. Bretscher and her staff earned Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Staff of the Year honors four times as the Tigers won a championship in 2003 and finished in the top three all 13 seasons in the conference. Bretscher’s teams posted a 185-133 dual meet record including 129-52 over her last 20 seasons.
Bretscher 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. In addition to coaching, Bretscher served as Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Associate Athletics Director and Aquatics Director. Bretscher and her husband, Paul, are parents of Daniel and Andrew.