Tyrone’s Story

Tyrone was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1971, and graduated from Oregon City High School in 1989. His interest in wrestling began in elementary school, continued through high school, and was his sport of choice. It provided the means for him to express his determination, grit, athletic strength, and loyalty to a team. It was also an influence academically, keeping him focused on the goal of graduating. He was passionate about the sport and completely immersed himself in it. In 1988 as a junior, he placed third in the Three Rivers District League, and in 1989, as a senior, he stood on the podium in fifth place as an OSAA state champion, having lost two of his matches by only one point.

Upon graduating from high school, he had received a partial wrestling scholarship to attend Clackamas Community College. But Tyrone’s adventurous nature led him down a different path. Instead of pursuing higher education, he chose to spend time as a ski lift operator at Mt. Hood Meadows. Then, at the strong urging of his mother, in April of 1990 he enlisted in the Navy. As a Special Operation Combat Medic, he served on SEAL Teams 1, 3, and 5 and also spent two years on the Navy’s Leap Frog team. In the latter years of his 20 year service, he was a BUD/s instructor training future SEALs and also became a certified registered nurse in California. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he earned the Bronze Star, as well as many other awards and medals, and retired in April, 2010, after 20 years of valiant and honorable service.

In April, 2013, at its annual banquet, the Oregon Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame posthumously awarded him the Medal of Courage for his heroic efforts in saving American lives in Benghazi, Libya. He is currently in contention for the Outstanding American award and induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Tyrone found success on the mat because of his winning attitude to never give up — which he carried with him during his long career as a US Navy SEAL. TSWWF seeks to emphasize the characteristics that he exhibited, all which helped him personally and professionally during his life’s journey. By shining a light on building good character and academic accomplishments as well as a healthy competitive spirit, TSWWF seeks to inspire these young athletes to achieve success in their own lives.

What Wrestling Meant to Tyrone

In 2009 Tyrone visited Oregon City High School and spoke to a global studies class taught by his former wrestling coach, Roger Rolen. As he stood before the class, he told them, “I’m in the US Navy, but I’m not going to talk to you about being in the Navy. I’m a US Navy SEAL, but I’m not going to talk to you about being a SEAL. What I am going to talk to you about is how Oregon City High School and being part of the wrestling team influenced me to become the man I am today.”

With those words spoken by Tyrone himself, it was easy to make the decision that creating a wrestling nonprofit for high school students was the right thing to do. The members of the board felt assured that Tyrone would definitely approve of his name being used for the greater good of high school wrestlers and the sport of wrestling and that our mission would reflect the values he shared with that global studies class that day in 2009.

Some interesting statistics from Tyrone’s senior year include his placing second in District and fifth (folkstyle) in State. He set two school escape records: career escapes – 51; season escapes – 25; and although not records, he had 37 takedowns and 50 reversals. Tyrone and Larry Oliver shared the “Most Inspirational Wrestler” award.

Tyrone Woods 1989 Wrestling

Life Experience and Achievements

  •  Born January 15, 1971, Portland, Oregon
  • Attended OCHS 1986-89 where he wrestled and placed 2nd in Three Rivers District and 5th at State Wrestling Tournament (OSAA) at 135 lbs.
  • Graduated OCHS, June, 1989
  • Enlisted in the U.S. Navy April, 1990
  • October 1990 completed Naval Hospital Corpsman School
  • Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training  February to October 1991 with additional   Special Operations Combat Medic and Basic Airborne training
  • SEAL Team Three, 1992-1996
  • SEAL Team Five,  June 1997 – January 2000
  • January 2000 – November 2001, U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the “Leap Frogs”
  • November 2001 – November 2004 – June 2006, BUD/s instructor for SEAL Qualification Training at the NSW  Center
  • 2005-2006, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Al Anbar Province, awarded Bronze Star
  • June 2006 – October 2008  Basic Training Command
  • October 2008 – April 2010 Naval Special Warfare Center until he retired on 30 April
  • 2010 – 9/12/2012  Civilian Contractor, CIA, employed by the United States Government to provide security for American diplomats and high level officials around the world. He perished in Benghazi, Libya, on September 12 while defending the US diplomatic mission and CIA Annex.