Mike Lopresti

Mike Lopresti, Distinguished Alumnus 2013

Class of 1971

Mike Lopresti was honored at Civic Hall as part of the Honors and Awards ceremony in May, 2013 as the Richmond High School Distinguished Alumni for 2013.  The long-time sports writer has made his national career something unequaled by any other Wayne county native.  He recently retired as National College Columnist for Gannett News Service, covering sporting events world-wide since 1982.

He began his career in sports writing with the high school Register and a job at the Palladium-Item at the age of seventeen.  He was soon covering major league baseball and by age twenty nine he began writing nationally.  He has covered 31 World Series, 33 Final Fours, 31 NBA finals, 16 Olympics, 30 Super Bowl games and 30 Master golf tournaments.

After graduating from RHS in 1971, he received his BA from Ball State in Journalism in 1975.  He has won numerous awards including induction into the Ball State University of Journalism Hall of Fame.  In 2009, he was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame.  He has also been awarded he Corky Lamm Sportswriter of the Year award.  He has been awarded the William Ringle Career Achievement Award from the Gannett Association, is 18th in seniority in the Baseball Writers Association of America (the group that votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame) and in April will be presented the US Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame, one of only 65 to have received this honor.

Former Palladium contributor, Max Knight recalls the first day that Mike came to work at the Palladium.  “He came to work in a shirt and tie, looking very professional”. Knight told him to “lose the tie” and claimed that if he knows Mike “that was probably the last time he wore one.”

Jan Clark, former sports writer for the Palladium-Item, recalls that as a sophomore in high school, Mike had a “great knowledge of sports, a great memory.  He had exceptional speed, even though he typed with two fingers and still does.”  At first, the job was to help Clark on the weekends and during the summer while Mike was in college.  In 1975, that became a full time job.  His career at the Palladium Item ended in 1981 when he began writing for USA Today.

Lopresti is known for writing with wit and humor as well as his knowledge of statistics.  He is also a Red Devil to the bone.  He has attended every Sectional game since 1959.  He wrote a two-page spread for the Devils when they won the long sought-after State Title for basketball in 1992.

In 2009, when Richmond schools were considering withdrawing from the North Central Conference after 83 years due to costs of travel,  Mike wrote “RCS recently distributed bookmarks that list the top 10 reasons to attend Richmond School.  Athletic tradition is No. 4.”   Today, Richmond, charter member of the NCC,  is still a major competitor in all sports.  Perhaps the editorial in favor of the NCC participation by a major sports writer kept them from leaving.

For someone who travels nationally, who could live anywhere, Mike and his wife Kris and his children, Abby, class of 2000, John, class of 2003 and Karen, class of 2008 chose to live in Richmond.  Mike admits that living in the middle of the country is an advantage but why Richmond?  He attends the sporting events at RHS as one of the most dedicated fans.  It’s his home.

In 2007, along with Dick Reynolds, Jan Clark and Mike Bennett, Lopresti co-wrote the Hoops and Glory basketball book for the alumni office.  Mike has served in the past on the alumni board and the RCS School board.   Recently he was profiled on WCTV in Richmond as part of  the P-I Live Legacy Series.

It doesn’t affect his driven work ethic.  “Every once in a while you’re at an event and you just feel privileged to be there… It’s like going to a movie– you have no idea how it’s going to end.  You’re going to be seeing moments that the people involved are going to remember the rest of their lives.” (Mike Lopresti to the Palladium Item)











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