YSU recognizes donors to WATTS project

Jim Tressel is among the donors who gave made Youngstown State University's Watson and Tressel Training Site possible.

YSU recognized donors to the WATTS campaign. From the left are Jim Tressel, YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson, Ellen Tressel, Phyllis and Anthony Cafaro Sr., and Norma and Frank Watson.

Youngstown State University recognized and thanked today donors who gave to the campaign to help build the Watson and Tressel Training Site, an indoor athletics practice facility on the north end of campus.

“On behalf of everyone at YSU, I want to thank the nearly 350 individuals, families, organizations and others who pledged more than $4 million to help build and equip this wonderful facility,” YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson said. “While this building provides state-of-the-art facilities for all of our student athletes, more than anything it represents the community’s continued faith and confidence in the future of Youngstown State University.”

The WATTS, which opened last fall, was named after Frank and Norma Watson and Jim and Ellen Tressel, who donated a combined $1 million to help fund the new indoor practice facility. Jim Tressel was head football coach at YSU from 1986 to 2000 and guided the program to four national championships. His wife, Ellen, is a YSU graduate and daughter of Frank and Norma Watson. Frank Watson, former president of Youngstown Welding and Engineering Co., is a 1949 graduate of Youngstown College, a former member of the YSU Board of Trustees and one of the original members of the YSU Foundation Board of Trustees.

Also donating $1 million was the Cafaro Family. The track and lobby area of WATTS is named in honor of the family. In addition, Candy and Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. donated $750,000 for the playing surface, Ray and Jan Travaglini gave $253,000 and the YSU Penguin Club pledged $250,000. Making $100,000 donations were the Schmutz Family, The Lariccia Family, Tony, Mary, Natalie and Dana, and Robert and Marilyn O’Leary.

The WATTS, located east of Stambaugh Stadium, features a full-length football field, a 300-meter track, two long-jump pits, a high-jump pit, four batting cages, a training room and locker rooms. The facility is used primarily by YSU’s intercollegiate athletic teams, including baseball, football, soccer, softball, golf and men’s and women’s track. In February 2012, the WATTS hosted the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championship.

Read more about the YSU WATTS.

About Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University is a comprehensive emerging urban research university that offers over 14,000 students more than 135 undergraduate and graduate programs backed by a strong tradition of teaching, scholarship and public service. As a major educational and economic development resource in the region, YSU is known for its focus on academic research and creative programs that transform its students into successful professionals, scholars and leaders. Located in the heart of the Tech Belt between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, YSU provides opportunities for students to actively participate with accomplished faculty, often in one-on-one settings, on advanced research and creative collaborations. The beautiful 145-acre campus includes high-tech classrooms, state-of-the-art labs and performance facilities, a variety of on-campus housing options and recreational facilities among the best in the nation.