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Roberts named assistant coach at Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State has hired Kevin Roberts as an assistant coach in its wrestling program, OSU head coach Jim Zalesky announced Friday. Roberts had been a strength and conditioning coach at Minnesota since 2004; the former Oregon wrestler had also been an assistant at North Idaho College and Wyoming.

"Kevin contacted me two years ago when I had some openings on my Iowa staff," Zalesky said. "At that time, we didn't really have a place for him. He went to Minnesota, so I got to see him coach there for a couple of years. I know he wrestled at Oregon, and coming out here you've got to have people who have contacts.

"I know he's well-respected in this area - Oregon, Washington and Idaho - and he coached a couple years at North Idaho junior college, and that was attractive to us."

Roberts joins Troy Steiner as assistants on Zalesky's staff at Oregon State. At Minnesota, Roberts coordinated the strength and conditioning program for the wrestling team, assisted in the daily operation of the wrestling program and was the program's video coordinator.

"It's a part of the country I'm familiar with and that I enjoy a lot," Roberts said of returning to the Pacific Northwest. "The biggest thing was the opportunity that I think lies ahead to work with Coach Zalesky and Coach Steiner. I think there's a lot of potential for great things to happen with the program, and I want to be part of that."

Roberts said the shift to OSU orange from UO green will be no problem. As a Duck, he wrestled for Ron Finley, who had wrestled for Oregon State before becoming Oregon's coach.

"I remember guys - more in jest - giving Fin a hard time about it," Roberts said. "I'm just excited to return to the area and go to work with Jim and Troy."

At North Idaho from 1998-2000 and 2001-04, Roberts helped lead NIC to the 2003 NJCAA National Championships. He was at Wyoming for the 2000-01 season.

As a wrestler at Oregon from 1994-96, Roberts was a two-time All-American at 118 pounds, placing fourth in 1994 and eighth in 1995, and he was a three-time Pacific-10 finalist. As a senior, Roberts was team captain; earned the school's Pacific-10 Medal for a male athlete for outstanding achievements in scholarship, athletics and citizenship; and earned the Daily Emerald Trophy as the school's outstanding senior athlete. He was named the Ducks' Most Valuable Wrestler three times.

Roberts is originally from Spokane, Wash., where he was a state champion for University High. His family includes his wife, Cami, and son, Drew, age 3.

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