Heavily recruited Ben Kjar is a perfect fit for UVU. Kjar, a sophomore from Centerville, sees wrestling strictly as a team sport, though he excels alone as an All-American.
He started taking wrestling seriously when wrestling coach Greg Williams began training him. It was the hours of coaching on the mat that fueled such strong-willed competition in Kjar. It’s ironic that the two would find themselves working together on a goal not to wrestle for a college team but build a program at UVU together.
After returning from serving an LDS mission in Tucson, Arizona, Kjar found himself with some hard decisions to make. It was either go to a thriving Boise State program or go to UVU to build a program with a new head coach.
Kjar chose UVU.
To make things interesting, Kjar, knowing how badly coach Williams wanted him to go to UVU, decided to play a joke on his soon-to-be new coach.
“I don’t want to brag, but let me tell you how clever I am,” Kjar said. “After I knew I was supposed to go to UVU and work under Greg, I called Greg. We chatted a little bit. I told him I wanted to go to Boise and I asked him, ‘What do you think about me going to Boise, Greg?'”
Coach Williams responded, “Oh, that’s a good decision for you. That’s a good school.”
Kjar then asked, “What would you say if I told you I was lying to you?”
Williams, after a few threats said to Kjar, said, “I knew you were coming here! I knew it!”
“It helped that I became coach and because of our relationship,” said Williams in regards to bringing Kjar to UVU. “It helped our situation because when he got his answer to come here, he knew he was supposed to come to UVU to build this program.”
Coach Williams says Kjar is the “cornerstone to this program.” The key for a successful program is that we are a team. One guy is not going to make a team great. But William’s philosophy is that Kjar can set the tone for the team and become an example for the rest of the already skillful team.
“Ben is our first All-American, and they look at how he trained and how he got there,” Williams said. “So the next guy that wants to be All-American is going to look at how he got there and how he trained.”
Kjar is dedicated and passionate. His wrestling even applies to his life and his goals.
“One thing I’ve learned ever since I was little was wrestling is a lifestyle,” he said. “Because how you wrestle in practice is a how you’re going to do outside of practice. When I’ve been slow practicing I will probably do it in life as well. In wrestling I like to be on top of things and I like to be aggressive, and I think in life I am the same way.”