1998 John Roberts Lifetime Service  Stevens Point.gifJohn Roberts graduated from Valley High School, West Des Moines, Iowa, where he was a 2 time state champion. In 1938 he went to the Wisconsin campus where he won 2 Big Ten Wrestling Titles (1941 and 1942), and played on the Varsity football team.
From 1946 - 1952 he was Athletic Director and Coach at Stevens Point where his team won the 1949 State Championship and placed 2nd in 1950 and 1951.
He joined the staff at Stevens Point State College in 1952, where he coached championship teams in football, wrestling and track.
John was appointed Executive Secretary in 1957. During his tenure, the state high school wrestling program has more than tripled in the number of schools sponsoring the sport.
He was a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations and a respected leader in his role. He was asked to help was a member of the Olympic Wrestling Games Committee and the United States Wrestling Federation Governing Council.
John was inducted into the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Hall of Fame on October 18, 1975.


John E. Roberts

1920 - 2012 Obituary 


John E. Roberts

John Evan Roberts, 92, of Stevens Point, WI, died in his home at Oakridge Senior Living on Sunday, December 16, 2012. A service to celebrate his life will be held at St. Paul's United Methodist Church after the holidays, once his family can gather.

Born April 20, 1920 in Adair, Iowa, John graduated from Valley High in West Des Moines. He earned his BS Degree from UW Madison, and played football for the Badgers during the glory days of 1940-42. He was twice a Big Ten wrestling champion and grappled his way to NCAA runner-up in 1941. 

He married the former Janet Alley of Fort Atkinson in 1944, and served his country as a pilot instructor for the Army Air Corps during the first two of their 65 years together. 

After returning to UW for his MS degree in 1946, he came to P.J. Jacobs HS as Athletic Director and coach for football, wrestling and track; his football charges celebrated 2 undefeated seasons and his wrestling team won a state championship. John then moved on to UWSP in 1952 as Dean of Men and coach for football and wrestling; his 1955 football team remains the only undefeated squad in Pointer history. The recent addition of the John Roberts Wrestling Room further honors his legacy at the university.

In 1957 John became the Executive Director of the WIAA, where he served until his retirement in 1986. John championed the introduction of women's sports into high school athletics, and further served the sports he loved through his extensive participation on a number of national and Olympic-level rules committees and governing boards. 

John was inducted into 8 state and national athletic Halls of Fame; he was selected Man of the Year by the U.S. Wrestling Foundation in 1981, and received the Red Smith Sports Award in 1992. He also served his community as a member of St Paul's Methodist Church, Kiwanis, Youth Baseball, the SP Country Club & Hot Shots, and was instrumental in the growth and expansion of the YMCA, his favorite work-out locale. In 1975 he received Stevens Point's Distinguished Service Award, and was recently honored as one of the community's 150 Most Notable Citizens. 

John was preceded in death by his beloved wife Janet; his sister, Noni; brothers, Hugh and Dean; and a grandson, Tyler. 

He is survived by his three children: Laurie (Ron) Todd of Scottsdale, AZ; Jack (Peggy) Roberts of East Lansing, MI; and Kim (Bill) Gural of Ft Meyers Beach, FL; and by 5 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. 

Always a sports man, John would ask that, in lieu of flowers, his memory be honored by a gift to the UWSP Wrestling Room, or the YMCA. John's family wishes to express their heartfelt appreciation to all of his extended family at Oakridge, and the loving caregivers of Home Instead and Ministry Healthcare Hospice.

Online condolences may be made at www.bostonfuneralhome.net.

John's indomitable spirit, which so endeared him to each and all, shall live on in our fond memories of this special 'Coach' who enriched so many lives along his way!


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