ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Twin Tiers remembers a local wrestling icon.
Jeff Reese, the Elmira Southside graduate who went on to stardom in the sport of wrestling, tragically passed away on this day in 1997. Reese, who won a New York State Championship in 1995, won 202 career high school matches, a mark that was ranked sixth in the country at that time. Jeff died while trying to lose weight for a University of Michigan wrestling match at just 21.
18 Sports remembers the life and legacy of Reese, a man who changed the sport he loved. Reese’s death altered the sport forever, as nationwide weight certifications and safer regulations were established.
In honor and memory of Jeff, The University of Michigan awards one member of the program who’s considered as “The Most Improved Wrestler of The Year.” Now, 23 years later, Reese’s life and legendary status continue to inspire those who knew him but also those who have a desire to learn more about his unforgettable life.
PHOTO: Michigan Athletics