Donors provide gifts for renovated wrestling facility

new wrestling areaA new facility named for the founder of wrestling at UWSP has been completed thanks to donor gifts that surpassed the project’s initial $50,000 goal.

In just over a year, 80 donors provided more than $65,000 in gifts to the John E. Roberts Wrestling Facility renovation project. Former athletes, alumni, fans, parents, and community members contributed toward the venture, naming the facility in honor of the wrestling program’s founder, John Roberts. Construction was completed prior this year’s season.

“We are proud to honor Coach Roberts through the naming of this facility for his accomplishments, hard work, leadership and outstanding character,” said Athletic Director Frank O’Brien. “What a wonderful opportunity we have to capture the spirit of Pointer wrestling for the past, present and future generations of fans and alumni. We want everyone to feel the sense of pride and tradition we have in Pointer Athletics and the wrestling program and there is no better example than John Roberts for what this facility represents.”

Roberts served as the founder and head coach at Central State College (UWSP) in the wrestling program’s inaugural 1951 season. He also served as dean of men for the college, started the wrestling program at P.J. Jacobs High School in Stevens Point and served as the executive director of the WIAA for nearly three decades.

For more information on the Athletic Traditions fundraising effort or to donate, please contact Tony Romano, assistant director of development, at 715-346-3406 or

Wrestler Don Smith, ’56, Tomah, congratulates Coach John Roberts during the new facility naming ceremony on January 15.

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