York University announced that it will hold the groundbreaking ceremony for the Tyler Phipps Wrestling Center on Saturday, October 21 at 2:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and will take place during the university’s Homecoming weekend. 


The 9,000-square-foot facility is being built as an addition to the south end of the university’s Holthus Field House, which sits a block off the main campus, 1699 E 12th Street . It will come equipped with space large enough for 2.5 wrestling mats and separate locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s programs. Intended completion will be during the 2024 spring semester.


The space will be named in honor of former York wrestling student-athlete, Tyler Phipps (‘08). Tyler was a bright light on campus, a faithful Christian witness who could be counted on for a friendly smile and a gentle laugh. Although a physically intimidating wrestler and a two-time NAIA Championship qualifier (‘07 and ‘08), from Ozark, Mo., Tyler was full of kindness and endeared himself to all faculty, staff and students. Tyler finished a degree in business and was working with his father’s company in Missouri when he tragically passed away in a hunting accident on September 26, 2015.

Head men’s and women’s wrestling coach Jeff Albers said, “We are excited to get things going on the new wrestling center. We have already received a lot of positive feedback from recruits that have been on campus and know about the new facility and all the other recent improvements at York University. We are extremely grateful for the Phipps family for making this investment in York University in honor of Tyler.”

Additional fundraising is needed to finish the project. Donations for the project can be made to York University with a note directing them to the “Tyler Phipps Wrestling Center" or by donating to The Tyler Phipps Memorial Fund.

Steve Phipps had this to say in honor of Tyler, “No father could be more proud of his son than I was of mine. When at times I was a weak leader he was patient, kind, and long-suffering. In the 30 years my son was on this earth I never once hung my head in shame but rather stood amazed that I could have a son like him. While at times I thought I was coaching/mentoring him to become a great leader, the reversal happened and he shaped the character of this far below-average CEO. Words can’t describe the pain of my loss but also the pride of saying ‘Tyler Phipps was my son!’"