Michael Testa

Mike grew up in New Jersey and began wrestling in the fifth grade. He competed for three years at Union High School, notably placing second at the Union County Novice Tournament.

After graduating high school in 1976, Mike moved to Boston where he attended and played baseball at the now defunct Grahm Junior College. On the first day of orientation at Grahm he saw a classmate in the cafeteria with wrestling shoes and headgear. Lifelong friend Tom Blair (publisher, Inside Colorado Wrestling) told Mike he was going to meet the wrestling coach at Emerson College and invited him to come along. Mike did not think he would ever wrestle again after high school but walking into the Emerson College Athletic office would change the course of his life.

1999 Massachusetts Hall of Fame inductee Jim Peckham was Emerson College’s wrestling coach and athletics director and gave Mike a warm welcome, an Emerson singlet, warm-up, Asics wrestling shoes, knee pads and a headgear and said practice was at 5 pm at the BYMCU. Non-Emerson students could be on the wrestling team and, before each match, were introduced with the name of their respective college. Peckham became Mike’s coach, teacher, and mentor; Jim and his wife Jean became close friends to Mike and Cecilia. Mike received his associate degree from Grahm in 1978, and then attended Emerson.

During his four years of college wrestling, Mike was team captain for Emerson from 1978 to 1980. He took second at the BYMCU Open in 1977 and was named the team’s outstanding wrestler in 1980. He placed third at the Regional Olympic Trials (held at Harvard) in 1980 and took second at the New England Greco in 1980 (held in Quincy). He became senior class treasurer, was awarded Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, was inducted into the Emerson Gold Key Society, played catcher for the baseball team, and worked in the athletics department office with Jean and Coach Peckham. Mike graduated from Emerson in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Speech. He received his Master of Arts in Television Production in 1985 from Emerson.

At Emerson he learned how to produce events and has since produced an amazing, varied array of cultural and political events with professional athletes, mayors, governors, U.S. presidents, and more.

The list of Mike’s wrestling accomplishments and contributions is a lengthy one. He helped found the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with Myron Roderick of Oklahoma State and Jim Peckham. Mike hosted the first chapter meeting held at the legendary Union Oyster House in Boston and, over a ten-year period, ran the first five Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame induction banquets.

His other wrestling accomplishments include Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Directors – Wrestling, founder of the Boston City Wrestling Championships, and founder of the Boston-Japan All Star Wrestling Tour with hall of famers Tim Walsh and Ed Hanley. Mike was the president of the MIWOA Referees Association and was an MIWOA official for more than 30 years. He was an assistant coach for Catholic Memorial High School. He was a volunteer assistant at MIT and a volunteer assistant with hall of famer Kevin Russo while the latter coached Lexington High School. Mike has been the announcer, clerk and producer for many high school and college wrestling events including the NCAA D3 Nationals.

Mike also hosted and produced the USA versus Armenia match at MIT and assisted Coach Peckham when USA faced Russia in Portland, Maine.

One of Mike’s favorite traditions is attending the Division I college national finals, which he has done annually since 2002.

Professionally Mike produced a citywide Boston Ballet Tour; Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots Championship rallies and celebrations; the Saturday Night Oldies concert series in 1987 at Boston City Hall; and the Hatch Shell on the Charles River that ran each summer for 23 years. Mike was Deputy Director of Recreation and Director of Reservations and Historic Sites for the MDC. He ran campaign events in Michigan for Bill and Hillary Clinton, inaugural balls for the Clintons in D.C., campaign events for George H.W. Bush, produced tree lightings, and more. He worked for three Boston mayors, five Massachusetts governors, and now organizes hundreds of events a year for the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District.

Along with being involved in the wrestling community, Mike enjoys golfing and softball, spending time with his family (wife Cecilia; sons Michael Jr., Lucas, and Alex; grandsons Michael 3rd and Maxwell), and continuing to produce world class events in Boston. Mike cannot thank his wife Cecilia enough for all her assistance over the years, taking calls from coaches, selling tickets to the HOF banquets, and taking RSVP’s for the MIWOA annual banquets.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

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