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Legendary Flint soccer coach Paul Dresser being remembered as ‘phenomenal man’

FLINT – Different coaches might need recorded extra victories or gained extra championships.

However few if any in Flint-area historical past have been extra synonymous with their sport than Paul Dresser.

The previous Carman-Ainsworth soccer coach was a real pioneer, forming the primary soccer program within the Flint space again in 1972 and spending 35 years teaching each the girls and boys.

He knew everyone on the native soccer scene – heck, in different sports activities too, for that matter – and Dresser was a type of individuals who no person ever appeared to say a nasty phrase about.

Dresser is being remembered fondly after dying Wednesday of an obvious coronary heart assault at age 75.

“One of the simplest ways I’d describe him is he was one of many kindest folks you’d ever know,” mentioned Kevin Fiebernitz, who coached in opposition to Dresser at Powers Catholic and Linden. “Simply an all-around phenomenal man. It’s unhappy to listen to of his passing. My cellphone began bowing up early within the morning from his former gamers.

“He simply at all times had such a constructive outlook on every thing. He was a type of guys that if you happen to performed for him, you really liked him. In all these years I coached in opposition to him, I don’t bear in mind him yelling at anybody or getting upset.

“Anybody that you just ever come throughout that met Paul, his former gamers – my brothers-in-law have been former gamers of Paul’s – they simply have the utmost respect for him.”

Dresser was born in Wheaton, Sick., the place certainly one of his highschool classmates was John Belushi.

He performed soccer at Greenville College in Illinois and moved to Michigan to acquire his Masters diploma at Japanese Michigan earlier than he and spouse Ruth – everyone calls her “Doc” as a result of her maiden title was Holliday – settled in Flint in 1969.

In 1972, Dresser shaped a membership soccer workforce at Carman Excessive Faculty and the soccer turned a varsity boys sport in 1975. Ladies varsity soccer was added in 1985 and Dresser coached each groups till retiring in 2007.

Underneath Dresser, the boys workforce had a report of 407-184-59 (.672) whereas the ladies compiled a report of 241-176-38 (.571). In all, he coached 1,127 video games at Carman and Carman-Ainsworth whereas serving as a bodily schooling teacher at Dye Elementary and Carman-Ainsworth Center Faculty.

The spotlight of Dresser’s profession got here in 1980, when he led Carman to a state championship.

Of the 1000’s of gamers who suited up for Dresser’s groups, many went on to play each collegiately and professionally. When he retired, two of his former gamers – Jay Witham and Jessyca Mathews – took over teaching the girls and boys groups, respectively.

“He was a fantastic man,” mentioned Witham, who remains to be the boys coach at Carman-Ainsworth. “Like all of the Fb posts say, only a great human being. All the way down to earth. He made it enjoyable for us, teaching clever. We simply loved the sport.

“He liked the sport.”

After retiring, Dresser would typically present up at Cavaliers’ practices or to observe former gamers like Witham in 30-and-over video games. Simply final week, he dropped in on a Carman-Ainsworth summer season observe whereas Witham was out of city.

“He’d sit on the sideline with us,” mentioned Witham, a former heart mid-fielder for the Cavaliers who graduated in 2003. “A number of the drills that he had completed again once I was enjoying I nonetheless incorporate” into practices.

Paul and Mac have two youngsters, Jennifer and Jeff. Jennifer, 51, is a nuclear drugs technician close to Kanas Metropolis and Jeff, 47, sells business lighting in North Carolina.

Jennifer doesn’t prefer to share her occupation with many individuals as a result of she mentioned they’d give her some unusual seems to be once they hear that technical time period however her dad was actually pleased with what she does for a residing. “He would inform lots of people,” she mentioned with fun.

Jeff adopted his dad into the teaching ranks after enjoying at Flint Southwestern Academy – the place he set a metropolis single-season report with 33 objectives – earlier than spending 9 years enjoying skilled soccer in North Carolina and Indianapolis.

He coached his highschool workforce to a North Carolina state championship final 12 months – 40 years after his dad gained a state title at Carman – and would communicate together with his dad each day.

Jeff mentioned his father knew all the gamers on his workforce and would typically evaluate them to gamers he coached in Flint. Paul and Doc would journey to North Carolina yearly to observe a few video games and Jeff would typically ask his dad to deal with the workforce earlier than video games.

“He liked the sport and he liked to teach,” Jeff mentioned. “He liked the children and he liked to see their success.”

Dresser turned so well-connected across the Flint space that he normally couldn’t exit with operating into individuals who knew him. In truth, Jeff mentioned when the household go away the state to go on trip in locations like Florida, Tennessee or northern Michigan, it wasn’t unusual for his dad to run into folks he knew.

So it’s no shock Dresser has obtained such affection from mates, gamers and acquaintances since his demise.

“Completely unbelievable,” Doc mentioned. “We by no means went anyplace that he didn’t know someone. By no means. The illustration I simply gave to the funeral director was that our grandkids are usually not used to being on this space, being from different states.

“We have been on the porch able to go away someplace and the Fed Ex man drove by and says ‘Hello Paul!’ they usually’re like ‘The Fed Ex man is aware of him?’ In all places we went.”

Along with Doc, Jennifer and Jeff, Dresser is survived by son-in-law Chad Doane, daughter-in-law Stephanie Dresser and 4 grandchildren – Emma Doane, Connor Doane, Jackson Dresser and Dylan Dresser.

Jackson is preserving the household’s soccer custom alive as a university participant.

A memorial service will probably be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 27 at Central Church of the Nazarene 1261 W Bristol Rd, Flint. It’s open to anybody who desires to pay their respects or share some recollections of Dresser.

Among the many audio system will probably be Scott Kronick, one of many captains on Dresser’s 1980 state championship workforce. Kronick was among the many gamers who impressed Jeff Dresser again when he was a Carman ball boy as a child.

Kronick is an ideal instance of how Dresser’s former gamers really feel about him.

“This can be a particular story,” Jeff Dresser mentioned. “He invited my dad final February earlier than COVID to go over to Europe they usually watched three English Premier League video games. He mainly flew him out they usually watched the video games.

“That’s such a particular reminiscence for my dad, simply to see his pleasure.”

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