LAX Bishops Head to the Hall of Fame
Mike James ’87 and former OWU women’s head coach Linda Strapp were inducted into the Ohio Lacrosse Hall of Fame in June, becoming the 11th and 12th Bishops to receive this distinction.
James was an All-America attacker at Ohio Wesleyan. His senior year, he was an honorable mention All-America pick and was a first-team All-Midwest Lacrosse Association and All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) selection. As a junior, he won second-team All-MLA, and first-team All-NCAC honors, and his sophomore year, he was an honorable mention All-MLA and second-team All-NCAC selection.
“Mike James is very deserving of this great honor,” says Director of Athletics Roger Ingles. “He was a great player, athlete, and even better person. I have been honored to know him as a player and as an alumnus. He is highly supportive of OWU and the OWU lacrosse program.”
Mike James credited former Battling Bishop head coaches Jay Martin and Mike Pressler. “[They] had a huge impact on my life.”
James compiled 139 goals, 63 assists, and 202 points during his career, ranking fourth on Bishop career lists for goals and points, and was selected to the North-South All-Star game.
“It’s obviously an honor to be in the Ohio Lacrosse Hall of Fame after 30 years of coaching, playing, and managing programs,” James says. During his acceptance speech, James credited former Battling Bishop head coaches Jay Martin and Mike Pressler.
“[They] had a huge impact on my life,” James reflected. “It’s not just coaching, it’s working with people. I use [what I learned from them] in coaching and leading young men, and I use that in business.”
Strapp was inducted as an official. She served as Ohio Wesleyan’s head women’s lacrosse coach from 1992-99, compiling an overall record of 61-50-1, including a mark of 44-22 against NCAC opponents. Her 1997 team set a school record with 11 victories, and during her eight seasons, Ohio Wesleyan had only one sub-.500 record.
Ingles says, “Linda Strapp is a valued friend and colleague who after leaving Ohio Wesleyan as one of our top coaches in lacrosse history became one of the top collegiate lacrosse officials in the country. I am excited for her and appreciate her contributions to OWU.”
“Being a coach made me a better official, and being an official made me a better coach,” Strapp says. “Trying to do both was difficult at times, but the dual role made me better at both.
“When I first came to Ohio Wesleyan, Mary Parker was the head coach. The game was changing, and working with Parkie made me keep the perspective of where the game came from. She appreciated that the game was changing and never held me back in any way, and I was grateful for that. I have fond memories of hosting the national tournament at Ohio Wesleyan—I was so proud to have teams from across the country come to Ohio Wesleyan to play.”
Only three individuals were inducted this year into the hall, which is managed by the Ohio Lacrosse Foundation. The ceremony was held at The Golf Club of Dublin.
OWU’s Ohio Lacrosse Hall of Famers
The 90-member roster of the Ohio Lacrosse Hall of Fame includes 12 OWU Bishops, listed below with their year of induction.
|Joe Horn (coach)||1994|
|Fred Myers (coach)||2001|
|Bob Sargent ’76||2005|
|Steve Meinsen ’77||2005|
|Richie Seiler ’72||2006|
|Toby Boucher ’88||2007|
|John Hildebrand ’76||2008|
|Charlie Blanchard ’88||2012|
|Blair Morrison ’85||2013|
|Dan O’Neill ’85||2015|
|Mike James ’87||2016|
|Linda Strapp (coach & official)||2016|