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From the Archives: Forever Young Gym Named for Hall of Fame QB Steve Young

From the Archives: Forever Young Gym Named for Hall of Fame QB Steve Young
Gus Aspillaga '25

Forever (Steve) Young Gym

Last week, I went through how Wooster has a connection to one 49ers player in Christian McCaffrey. This week, fresh off the Super Bowl in which many people were rooting for 49ers QB Brock Purdy to win it, I will be going over a connection to another one, NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback and Super Bowl Champion Steve Young.

Most people at Wooster wouldn’t know this… but the Forever Young gym is named after Super Bowl Winning Quarterback Steve Young. Young won three Super Bowls over his career, in 1989 and 1990 (when he was the back-up QB to Joe Montana) and in 1995, when he was the starting QB and Super Bowl MVP. 

Young grew up in Greenwich, attending Greenwich High School. He was also the main donor for Wooster’s “new” gym with his foundation, The Forever Young Foundation, and longtime friend and former Boston Celtics player Danny Ainge also pitched in. The connection came from Bob Gay, a former Wooster parent and trustee, who introduced Young to the school. Young and Ainge visited Wooster in 2001 as part of a ceremony prior to the gym being built, and in an article from the Danbury News Times, former headmaster John Cheeseman said “This is one of the best days of my career.” When they visited, they had a Q&A in the Alumni gym, along with signing autographs for Wooster students.

That day, they also participated in the tee-off of a golf outing with Wooster parents, board members, and faculty. According to the 2002 Summer issue of Wooster News, “they posed for pre-tournament photographs with participants before leaving with a promise to return when the gymnasium is complete.”

And they did! In January 2003, when the Forever Young Gym was officially dedicated, both Young and Ainge returned for the celebration, and participated in a faculty/staff basketball game. 

Wooster’s Associate Director of Development, Mrs. Khan-Johnston ‘08, was a middle school student at the time of their second visit. She says, “I remember fans of football were very excited about him being here. It felt cool to have someone so famous visiting our little school. We had an all-school assembly in the new Forever Young Gym and Steve Young and [Danny Ainge] were outside the Gym signing autographs.”

At the time, Steve Young was referred to as “Future Hall of Famer,” and he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005. Now the Utah Jazz CEO, Danny Ainge is still awaiting an induction to the NBA Hall of Fame.
As the boys varsity basketball game takes the court this afternoon on the Forever Young Gym, we can all appreciate the history and the generous donation.

See photos from his visits here and the news coverage of the events! 

In the Mallory Kahn-Johnston photo, she says: For the occasion, my friend's dad, Jay Young '64, an Alum and current Board of Trustee Member, created this photo, which was pretty good editing for the time, of me and his daughter, Katie Young '08 'on the field' with Steve. 

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