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Dale Oehler ’75 Inducted into the N.J. Lacrosse Hall of Fame
02.20.13 |
Last month, the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame announced its inductee class of 2013. On that list was a name that greatly impacted the sport in Central Pennsylvania.

Dale Oehler ’75, a former business administration major, was a four-year letter winner and a team captain in his senior season, but he will forever be known on campus as someone who fought to revive the program for more than two decades when it was cut in 1985.

“I played in the early ’70s after being recruited out of Wilson High School in Connecticut,” Oehler said. “My high school coaches told me about all these different places and the schools where I could go and start right away. LVC at the time was nationally ranked. We played a really hybrid schedule at the time before there were Divisions I, II, and III in the NCAA. That came in the middle of my college career. We played Gettysburg, Franklin & Marshall, Villanova, Lehigh – some of which are now big D-I programs.”

After graduation, Oehler played on teams across the U.S. while developing the skillset that led to his current position as senior vice president of Time Warner Retail in New York City. When he was able to make his way back to the East Coast and found out that the program had been cut, he hit the phones.

“We were a good program that beat a lot of good teams. It was a great disappointment to a lot of us, so when I got back, I started calling and talking to people about getting lacrosse reinstated,” Oehler said. “When they came to New York, where I work, I would have lunch with whoever was president at the time.”

Lacrosse returned to LVC in 2010 and has continued to grow ever since.

“LVC restarted the program the right way. They brought in a nationally recognized coach, and it showed the commitment that the College was making,” Oehler said. “It was a difficult thing for someone as proud as me to be asked, ‘Where’d you play lacrosse?’ and not have anybody recognize the name Lebanon Valley College. It’s nice to have the school back up and playing. Now the name rings a bell for people.”

Oehler still returns to campus for athletic department events. He and some of his college friends attend the department’s golf tournament each year and tour campus to see all of the physical changes that have taken place over recent years. He also checks in with men’s lacrosse head coach John Haus and athletic director Rick Beard.

In New Jersey, Oehler works with youth and high school teams to grow the sport. He coached the Rumson-Fair Haven travel team for 12 years and was instrumental in the township’s high school approving a varsity team. In the mid-1990s, he helped reconstitute the N.J. chapter of U.S. Lacrosse. Since then, he has served on the board of the New Jersey South Chapter and was elected its president.

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