Wrestler dies while preparing for match

From the Athletic Department


Student-athlete Jefferey L. Reese collapsed Dec. 9 while working out in preparation for a wrestling match with Michigan State University and was pronounced dead at University Hospital. Reese, of Wellsburg, New York, was a junior in the Division of Kinesiology, majoring in physical education teaching.

"In respect to the Reese family," Athletic Director Tom Goss cancelled the Dec. 10 wrestling match against Michigan State and the men's basketball game against Eastern Michigan University.

"This is a tragic loss for the University of Michigan family," Goss said in a statement released Dec. 10. "Jeff was one of our children, one of our exceptional children. This is a great loss for all of us.

"On behalf of the University of Michigan community, Provost Nancy Cantor and I extend our deepest sympathy to Edwin and Veronica Reese and their extended family. We share in the tremendous grief as faculty, student athletes, coaches and staff who knew Jeff. He was a vital and talented member of our community.

"Nancy and I believe that this is a time to reflect on Jeff's accomplishments and to grieve together."

Counseling was provided for students and staff through Counseling and Psychological Services and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program.

Late last week, Goss suspended wrestling practice and appointed a task force to study the sport here and at other NCAA schools with an eye to improving safety. Task force members are Joseph McFarland, assistant wrestling coach; Paul Schmidt, supervisor of athletic training; Steven Papadopoulos, associate professor of surgery; Teresa Bruggeman, assistant professor of nursing and adjunct lecturer in kinesiology; and Warren Lockette, adjunct associate professor of surgery.

The cause of death had not been announced at Record press time.