The Penn wrestling team just got a brand new $500,000 facility to go with its brand new No. 10 national ranking. The Pottruck Wrestling Complex, donated by former Penn wrestler and current University Trustee David Pottruck, officially opened yesterday in Hutchinson Gymnasium with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the event. The ceremony, led by Pottruck, Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky and Quakers wrestling coach Roger Reina, was attended by about 40 Penn wrestling alumni, current wrestlers and other members of the Penn athletic community. Pottruck, the president and chief executive officer of Charles Schwab, wrestled at Penn from 1966 to 1970 and was an assistant coach for two additional years. The creation of the Pottruck Wrestling Complex comes in conjunction with plans to build the new David S. Pottruck Health and Fitness Center at Gimbel Gymnasium, to which Pottruck donated $10 million. "When I gave my gift last spring for the new health and fitness center, I also wanted to do something more for the wrestling program and give them a world-class college wrestling facility, because I think we have a world-class team," Pottruck said. The facility, located on the bottom floor of Hutch, features a bigger mat workout area, new fitness and weight training sections and self-contained lockers and showers. The complex also includes a new reception area where parents and recruits can watch practices, and a video area for viewing match tapes. The new complex is the final step in a process of revamping the wrestling facilities that began several years ago. "I gave money about four or five years ago to redo the wrestling room the first time," Pottruck said. "We made a whole bunch of structural changes, and that's when they originally named it the Pottruck Wrestling Room." During the ceremony, two of the team's captains, seniors Brett Matter and Bandele Adeniyi-Bada, presented Pottruck with a framed drawing by senior Mike Gadsby -- a Penn 184-pounder -- in appreciation of Pottruck's long-standing relationship with the Penn wrestling program. Pottruck said that his relationship with the team has intensified over the past several years. In that time, Penn has risen from an Ivy League contender to a national powerhouse; this year, the Quakers garnered their first-ever top-10 ranking in the National Wrestling Coaches Association preseason poll. "This is a really defining moment in the history of the wrestling program at the University of Pennsylvania," Reina said. "While I won't make any predictions in terms of outcomes, I will definitely make this guarantee to you: We will train like champions every day in this room and we'll do it with pride." Reina said the complex is "as good a facility or better" than most of the wrestling facilities in the nation. Bilsky said that the Pottruck complex is just one of a number of projects on tap for the Athletic Department. Along with the wrestling complex and the health and fitness center, a new baseball stadium is scheduled to be completed in the spring. The site of the old baseball field, Bower Field, has already been converted for recreational use. And finally, plans are in the works for renovating the concourses in the Palestra this spring.Comments powered by Disqus
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