UB’s wrestling facilities in Alumni Arena were basic—sufficient but not great. Now, after a $350,000 renovation, they’re great.
The formerly windowless team practice area was enlarged and now
has natural light streaming through clerestory windows along the
façade. The wrestling mats are new. A major addition to the
complex is an on-site fitness center, equipped with
state-of-the-art aerobic machines used for training and
rehabilitation, allowing coaching and training staff to improve the
fitness and well-being of the student-athletes.
A new student-athlete lounge, named for wrestler Jeff Parker, 2007-08 team co-captain and inspirational leader who passed away in 2010, gives the wrestlers a place to study and socialize with their teammates. What makes this a great story for UB Athletics—beyond how much the wrestling team enjoys life in the new complex—is that the necessary funds for the renovation came from alumni and friends. More than 100 generous donors, mostly former wrestlers, answered the call for the team and to honor former head coach Ed Michael, who had been an unforgettable force for many of them.
Michael guided the Bulls to victory in 215 dual meets, coached numerous individual tournament champions and All-Americans, and led his team to the 1977-78 NCAA Division III national championship. He went on to serve the
UB Division of Athletics for 18 years as administrator and Director of Recreation and Intramurals, touching the lives of thousands of UB students.
On November 5, 2011, the Ed Michael Wrestling Complex was formally dedicated with Michael surrounded by generations of his former wrestlers, and with Jeff Parker’s parents present to feel the program’s love for their son.