With respect to our memories of Columbia Wrestling, we look back on a great many everyday experiences, both in the gymnasium and outside. But more importantly, by keeping active with Columbia Wrestling, we have the good fortune of experiencing new memories every year.
-David and Michael Barry
Family can mean so many things to so many people. For David and Michael Barry, they were actual brothers on the Columbia wrestling team in the mid-1980's. But beyond that, they were also part of the Columbia wrestling family, a family they have stayed in close contact with over the years.
Columbia University has announced that David Barry '87CC and Michael Barry '89CC have generously committed to establishing a new endowment in support of an Assistant Wrestling Coach Position. This endowment will add significant stature to our wrestling program and will allow us to retain and recruit assistant coaches of the highest caliber which will pay tremendous benefits for the student-athletes in our wrestling program.
"We are thrilled to announce that we will be establishing the Michael and David Barry Assistant Coach of Wrestling position," said Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. "This endowment will be the first endowment of an assistant coach position in the athletics program. We thank David and Michael for their tremendous generosity. Their leadership gift provides the critical resources necessary to build and sustain a championship wrestling program."
"To say Dave and Mike have been instrumental in the progress of our wrestling program would be an understatement," said Brendan Buckley, the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling. "Since the day I arrived on campus in 2000, they have financially supported us, provided professional internships for our student-athletes, and demonstrated a strong presence at our wrestling events. We are incredibly grateful for them taking a big step to endow the first assistant coaching position."
Their partnership on the wrestling mat continued after graduating from Columbia, as both brothers continue to work together, this time on a new team. David is President of Ironstate Development Company, while Michael is President of Ironstate Holdings LLC, (and Applied Property Company), both part of a privately held real estate development and management company based in Hoboken, New Jersey. The company engages in the development of large-scale residential and hotel projects in the Northeast United States.
Michael was a four-year letter-winner for the Lions while David was a first-team All-Ivy League selection as a sophomore, a two-time EIWA place winner, and team captain as a senior. For both of them, wrestling was a huge part of what defined their college experiences.
"Wrestling for Columbia was the cornerstone of my college experience," explained David. "The dedication and commitment required to be a varsity athlete at Columbia greatly enriched the college experience for me and provided me with skills and confidence for being successful in life. Giving back to the program helps ensure that future students will have similar meaningful opportunities."
Endowed coaching positions are so valuable because in addition to showing continued alumni support for the program, they provide resources that will allow Columbia to continue to build a championship wrestling program. This gift made by the Barrys, which marks the second wrestling coach endowment in the last six years, will truly have a lasting impact on the program, and will create a legacy that will continue to support Columbia wrestling now and in perpetuity.
"I am appreciative of the opportunities and experiences Columbia afforded me," explained Michael. "Part of what makes Columbia one of the world's great universities is the caliber and diversity of its offerings. By contributing to Columbia, specifically to the wrestling program, I can help to ensure that the institution will continue to provide the highest level undergraduate experience, with specific focus on the facets of Columbia that are most important to me."
On Friday, February 11, David and Michael Barry will be honored in a reception at the New York Athletic Club following the team's match against Princeton.