Joseph Tesar Jr. – Athlete
Born in Teplice, Czech Republic, Josef Tesar Jr. defected to Canada with his family at age 4. His father, Josef Tesar Sr. (inducted into the PA Sports Hall of Fame in 1996) was a decorated wrestler in the Czech Republic, having qualified for the Olympics, and it was only natural his son would follow in his footsteps in his new home country.
With his father as his primary coach Josef Jr. took up wrestling at age 7 and by the time he was 12 had captured his first Canadian Championship. With his father’s back ground as a Greco-Roman wrestler Josef Jr. was able to train and compete in both Greco-Roman and freestyle throughout his career.
Ten times Josef Tesar Jr. was the Saskatchewan provincial champion, going on to win 4 times at the Canadian National level. He also won gold at the Montana State Championships, The California Open and the United States South East Regionals, often wrestling up one or two weight classes for training and development purposes.
One of his notable accomplishments was in 1998 when Tesar struck gold in his 61kg weight .division at the CIAU (Canadian University) championships, thus helping the University of Regina Cougars team capture the overall Championship at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. It was the U of R’s 1st of 2 consecutive CIAU crowns and was part of that University’s successful push to get a new field house with the new wrestling room as a major component. Despite a disabling shoulder injury, Tesar won silver at the 1999 CIAU’s and was ranked as an All Canadian three straight years at the U of R.
This success propelled Tesar to the World University Games in Ankara, Turkey in 2000 where he was ultimately defeated by the reigning World Junior Champion from Iran.
He also placed 7th at the 1990 World Championships in Alma, Quebec and represented his home nation of the Czech Republic at the 1996 European Championships.
Tesar received a Business Administration Degree from the U of R with a focus in Accounting and Finance. He briefly coached the Yorkton High School Wrestling Team before returning to be with his family in Prince Albert in 2003. He was named president of the Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association for one year and briefly coached the PA Wrestling Club. Under his leadership some athletes would strike gold at the Canadians in St. John’s, Newfoundland.