Courtesy Hofstra Athletic Communications
In another sign of Hofstra wrestling’s steady growth during last decade into one of the premier programs in the nation, a new state-of-the art practice facility was christened for the start of the 2009/2010 season.
The new Teague Ryan Wrestling Complex includes a practice area called the Raymond Downey Sr. Wrestling Room that includes new mats and audio system with state-of-the-art speakers that power the room. The facility also includes the Rudy Fiorvanti Strength and Cardio Center, a video room, new wrestling offices, a student-athlete lounge for academic work and an alumni reception area where past Hofstra wrestlers can visit.
“The new facility we have puts us in a great situation for a lot of reasons,” said Hofstra head wrestling coach Tom Shifflet. “Instead of having just a wrestling room, we made it into a facility where we try to establish something that can fit the needs of everything that these guys need for training.”
In addition to the new Teague Ryan Wrestling Complex aiding the current Pride grapplers, Shifflet is hoping it will also serve as an attraction for potential recruits who covet a facility of this caliber when they select what school to attend.
“You talk to any wrestling program, or really in any sport, the coaches will tell you how important having a nice facility is when it comes to bringing prospects on campus,” said Shifflet. “When you are fitting the needs of the wrestlers and you put a facility like this in and do the renovations, it shows the importance of the program from the coaching staff to the athletic director, to the president of the university, to the alumni….. and that is important to these guys.”
The new facility was constructed inside Hofstra’s Physical Fitness Center thanks to a $250,000 fund-raising drive. The complex is named for the late Teague Ryan, son of former Hofstra wrestling coach Tom Ryan, who tragically died in 2004 at age five from a heart complication. The wrestling room is named for Raymond Downey Sr., a New York City firefighter, who was killed responding to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and had two sons Joe and Ray Jr. wrestle for Hofstra in the 1980s. The strength and cardio center honors Rudy Fiorvanti, who was a captain for the Hofsra wrestling, football and lacrosse teams in the 1970s, and died in April 2007.
“It certainly brings a breath of fresh air, said Shifflet of what the new complex means to the Hofstra wrestling program for this season and going forward. “It motivates you.”