Biography of Roy Pittman written by a current wrestler

Coach PittmanBig Dog

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said in his famous speech, “I dream of a time when a person is judged not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.” My biography is about Roy Pittman (Big Dog) and the content of his character.

Roy Pittman was born in 1943 in Monroe, Louisiana. He has two brothers and three sisters. He grew up in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from Washington High School His favorite sports were football and softball. However, he used the conditioning from wrestling for these sports.

Coach Pittman 1988

Coach Pittman 1988

I interviewed Roy Pittman in his office before wrestling practice on a Monday evening. Roy seemed to be very relaxed before we even got started. I started my interview with the easier questions, but they got harder as time went on.

Roy said that his hobbies and interests involve coaching and motivation people. He considers himself a good cook better than Chef Boyardee. He became involved in wrestling twenty seven years ago. He has coached both national freestyle and Greco-Roman teams. He has also been an Olympic wrestling coach.nks that the most important thing you can teach wrestlers is to love themselves and to know that they deserve it. He believes that most exciting thing that happened to him is when young people and parents see what they have in common with each other. Continue reading

Mike Getlin – What Peninsula Did For Me

Mr. Pittman, you asked me to write a letter about what Peninsula Wrestling did for me, now that I have a little hindsight on where my life has taken me after my days of competing on the mat are over. With a little thought, it’s a very easy task writing this, since so much of who I am today really grew directly out of my experiences with Pitt Wrestling. I am blessed with about the best life I could ask for, and when I look back there is actually very little about it for which you and Peninsula do not deserve credit.

I had great success wrestling there and it was that success that got me into Harvard. That being said, it wasn’t really until after school that I found my stride and really began to draw on the experiences and wisdom I took away from the club. I learned to be patient, to take pride in my work and myself, and to grow personally and professionally no matter what has been thrown in my way. Continue reading

Ben VomBaur Head Assistant Coach University of Northern Colorado Wrestling

I grew up playing a lot of sports. I played organized soccer, football, baseball and basketball, but it wasn’t until i wrestled that i could channel my energy. Wrestling has made me the person I am today. It helped me transform my life from a struggling youth into a successful person.

I was a bright kid growing up. I scored high on several standardized tests in Kindergarten; even high enough to be placed in a new school for gifted students. But over the years I struggled more and more with discipline and motivation. By the time I finished the 6th grade I was failing several subjects, was visiting the principal on a regular basis and my relationships with my family was struggling at home. I had physical altercations with my parents and at one point pulled a knife on my sister and threatend her life. I specifically remember my 6th grade teacher telling my parents at a parent-teacher conference that I was headed for prison. Near the end of the 6th grade school year, after getting in a fight at school, the principal asked my dad if I would stay home the rest of the school year. So I did.

I started wrestling in the 7th grade. I was a natural and won most of my matches. Wrestling was fun for me because I liked being physical. I have a mean streak, but in wrestling that was a good thing. Junior high school was still a struggle, but wrestling helped me channel my aggression and helped me dedicate myself to something I valued. I made big improvements in my life, but the biggest changes didn’t come until my 9th grade year when i learned about respect. In the 9th grade I started wrestling for Roy Pittman at Peninsula Park. Its an inner city club in Portland, Oregon with a heavy emphasis on respect, not wins and losses. I learned to respect my coaches, my family, my community and myself. Continue reading

Derrick Foxworth, Former Chief of Portland Police

To Whom It May Concern:

RE: Roy Pittman

This letter of recommendation is being written on behalf of the Peninsula Wrestling Club and Head Coach Roy Pittman. As the National Coaches Education Program Coordinator for USA Wrestling, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Roy, his athletes on our Senior National Teams, and his club directly for the past four years. During this same time frame, due to my job responsibilities, I have had the opportunity to study the most successful coaches and wrestling programs in the nation. I mention this due to the fact that Roy Pittman and the Peninsula Wrestling Club are easily among the top 10 wrestling programs in the World.

This letter is in support of Roy Pittman. As Chief of Police for the Portland Police Bureau, the largest law enforcement agency in the State of Oregon, I have met numerous individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping youth and their community. However, there are few that stand out above the rest, and Mr. Roy Pittman is one of those individuals.  Continue reading

Glenn Garrison

I started wrestling when I was 12. My mom took me to a little club at Beaverton High School where I spent that first collegiate season. The day after collegiate ended Carrol Trumbauer took Adam (her son), myself and like 3 other kids to Peninsula. I don’t remember the other 3 kids names because they never came back. I still remember falling in love with wrestling that first day in the room.

A high school guy named Jason Jones was in the center of the mat while everyone else was on the wall. Mr. Pittman was making Jason wrestle every person 1 by 1. It didn’t matter how small or big the next kid was coming in, they held nothing back. J. Jones didn’t give an inch either. That moment hooked me. I felt tougher just being in the room. What Mr. Pittman orchestrated and what J. Jones did, represented something deeper that I didn’t recognize until much later in my life.

Being in the room day after day, banging heads with guys I considered my second family, and the wrestling skills I learned from Mr. Pittman and Donny Mac were essential in getting me to the level of wrestling I’m at today. But the talks after practice every Monday, Wednesday and Friday became building blocks of my character. During those sessions we wouldn’t necessarily hear about good or bad, right or wrong. Instead, we received praise when deserved, correction when needed, and acceptance. We said the word, “I believe in myself, I believe in my teammates. I believe I can do better I believe hard work pays off. I believe all things are possible. I believe something good is going to happen to me.” A Roy Pittman quote.. I believed it then and still believe it now. Continue reading

Wayne Baughman, wrestling coach USAF Academy CO

Whom it May Concern,

I wish to express my appreciations for, and congratulate the Peninsula Wrestling Club (PWC), Coach Roy Pittman and the other club coaches for their superior support of and contributions to amateur wrestling. The PWC includes wrestlers from the developmental age their program includes both the interscholastic/intercollegiate styles as well as the international/Olympic styles of wrestling. The PWC has consistently produced winners/champions in every style at every age level including the United States’ most recent (1997) World Champion, Les Gutches.

More important than the PWC’s wrestling successes however, is the club’s very positive role in the personal development of the quality individuals the club produces. The United States Air group/kids programs through the elite World Championship/Olympic levels of competition. Force Academy (USAFA) is a very selective, demanding institution with extremely high standards for both admission and to succeed. USAFA students represent the best of the best from every state as well as numerous foreign countries.  Continue reading