Eugene Wettstone papers, 1920-1997

721

Collection Overview

Title:
Eugene Wettstone papers
Dates (Inclusive):
1920-1997
Creator:
Wettstone, Eugene
Abstract:
Gymnast Eugene Wettstone led national athletic organizations, coached the U.S. Olympic Team (1948 and 1956) and successful Penn State men and women's gymnastics teams (1938-1976)
Abstract:
This collection documents Eugene Wettstone's pivotal role in national and international gymnastics organizations and his career as Penn State gymnastics coach. Materials consist primarily of correspondence files, printed information, photographs, and awards.
Collection Number:
721
Size:
23 Cubic feet
Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library catalog.
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Biographical or Historical Note

Eugene Wettstone was born in 1913 of Swiss immigrant parents and grew up in Union City, New Jersey. At age ten, he began performing gymnastics at a neighborhood Swiss club and continued at the University of Iowa, where he captured the Big Ten all-around title three times in a row. After earning a master's degree at the University of Iowa, Penn State tapped him to be its first full-time gymnastics coach in 1938. From 1941, his teams were rated among the best in the nation and in 1943 his team, unbeaten in dual competition, walked off with the national AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team title. His teams were undefeated for four straight years and in 1948 won both the Eastern Intercollegiate and National Collegiate Championships and again were awarded the National AAU championships. He was the coach of the 1948 and 1956 U.S. Olympic Team and coached the U.S. World Games team in 1970. He served as the manager for the 1976 Olympic team. He was instrumental in organizing the United States Gymnastics Federation (USGF) in 1962, which replaced the AAU as the United States's representative body in the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in 1970. He was also active in organizing meets, coordinating with the U.S. Olympics Committee and National Collegiate Athletic Association, and served as an officer of the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches. At Penn State, he organized an annual circus where gymnasts and coeds dressed as clowns and did acrobatics, tumbling and high-trapeze acts, and in State College he helped develop athletic programs for local high schools. He received numerous awards and honors, including the Lion's Paw Medal in 1976 and retired after 38 years of service to the university. Wettstone is also credited with restoring Penn State's 'Man in the Suit' lion mascot for athletic events.

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Collection Overview

This collection documents Eugene Wettstones pivotal role in national and international gymnastics organizations and his career as Penn State gymnastics coach. Materials include correspondence documenting the creation of the United States Gymnastics Federation (USGF) in 1962 and extensive information from and about the Amateur Athletic Union, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC), International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). Correspondence, photographs, and statistics also document gymnastics meets internationally, including the Olympics. The collection includes numerous photographs dating from Wettstones early performances and include many meets, action shots, organizational events, and athletes from Penn State, nationally and internationally. This collection also contains 3 cubic feet of plaques, pins, ribbons, and awards.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eugene Wettstone Papers (721), Penn State University Archives, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Artifacts
  • Moving Image
  • Photographic

Personal Name(s)

  • Wettstone, Eugene

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Collection Inventory

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