By Dave Caspole
Loren “Squire” Bressor has been named the 2015 Hagan Award recipient by the Westfield State University Athletics Hall of Fame Committee for his long-time contributions to the athletics department at Westfield State. Bressor received the award at the Athletics Hall of Fame banquet as part of homecoming festivities.
Bressor served as Westfield State’s tennis coach in the 1970s and was also an adjunct professor at the University. He has been a part of the Westfield State Hall of Fame committee for 18 years, and served as both chairman of the committee and emceed the dinner and induction ceremony. He has supported the Owl Club and participated in many of the Owl Club Golf Tournaments, the Westfield State athletics department’s primary annual fundraising event.
A native of Northampton, Mass., he now resides in Granby, with his wife Carol. He attended the Lyndon Academy in Vermont, Cornell University, and the University of Vermont, and holds a master’s degree from UMass Amherst.
Bressor’s athletic and community involvement is a record to regard. He operated Squire’s Tennis and Ski, a sporting goods store with shops in Granby, Conn. and Holyoke, Mass.
“I actually sold Westfield State its first goalposts for the football field,” said Bressor. He taught and coached at Vanderbilt University before coming back north. “Our budget at Westfield was about 1/10th of what it was at Vanderbilt,” he said. “We had to put up signs on campus just to get players at first.”
After graduating from UVM, Squire spent several years as a touring tennis professional, competing against some of the great names of tennis history; Roy Emerson, Pancho Gonzalez, Tony Trabert and many more.
“Doubles was really my forte and I liked hard courts or grass courts better,” said Bressor. “I was good enough to play against the top level players but I wasn’t good enough to beat them.”
“Professional tennis was a lot different in those days. We’d travel and have four or five guys in one motel room, and when we went to Europe you couldn’t afford to fly so we’d travel by boat.”, he explained.
Education and community service remain important components to Squire’s life. He is active on several boards at UMass, and served as a trustee and coperator of the Lyndon Institute in Vermont where he attended prep school.
Now 87 years old, Bressor has stayed active, having taught tennis for many years, and competing in the Senior Olympics and the Massachusetts State senior games, in such varied events as javelin, discus, shot put, tennis, badminton, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. He also conducts Squire’s College of Knowledge and speaks to a variety of organizations on public health and sports science.
“I’m a strong advocate for reading books, and I think that people don’t read enough these days. I’ll give away a book to people who answer a question correctly at one of the lectures and I’ll ask them to pass it on.”
He is a director on the National Football Foundation’s Western Mass. chapter, served as an official and judge at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in cross country skiing, biathlon and ski jumping, involved with Granby’s Parks and Recreation Department and active with local politics.
Why the nickname “Squire”?
“It was a family joke,” said Bressor. “My father was the Earl, and I was the Squire” referring to the middle ages definitions of the word. The more modern definition refers to a “man of high social standing” or “a friendly form of address,” both of which apply with certainty in this case.