76ers owner gives $1 million gift to Penn wrestling

Paul Kurtz
July 11, 2018 - 4:40 pm
Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris (left) has given a $1 million gift to the wrestling program at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, where Roger Reina (right) is head coach.

Paul Kurtz | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris has given a $1 million gift to the wrestling program at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. 

The billionaire financier is helping out an old friend and former teammate, Roger Reina, who recently returned to Penn for a second stint as head wrestling coach.

"It's a really exciting day — maybe it's a little bit like Christmas — but what a tremendous gift and what a profound leadership statement for the university, for our program and the athletic department here at Penn," said Reina, a Hall of Fame coach and Ivy League wrestling champ.

"[Reina] just told me what he needed, really," Harris said. "He said if you give me this dollar amount I'll be able to focus on recruiting, not fundraising, so that's what we did."

Half the funds will be used to hire top-tier coaches and staff. The rest will be plowed into player recruitment, equipment, salaries and other needs. 

For Harris, the bequest also provides a bit of self-satisfaction: payback for a sport that taught him valuable life lessons.

"It taught me about grit and tenacity and what you needed to do to win," he said, "so I applied that to my life."