Two of Winthrop Athletics' Biggest Supporters Make Gifts for Athletic Training Center

September 06, 2016

Quick Facts

bullet point Joe and Zeta Sistare are two of Winthrop Athletics' biggest supporters.
bullet point The couple established two funds to be used for the athletic training center at the Coliseum.
bullet point The couple met on a blind date and shared a passion for Winthrop sports.

/uploadedImages/news/Articles/Sistare.gif Joe and Zeta Sistare in the Virgin Islands 
for the Paradise Jam tournament. /uploadedImages/news/Articles/ZetaSistare.gif Zeta Sistare dressed in her distinctive
hat and vest at a basketball game.
Photo courtesy of Jacob Hallex, The Johnsonian.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Joe and Zeta Sistare shared a passion for Winthrop sports. They have been supporting all of the Winthrop teams since moving to Fort Mill in 1979.

The Sistares' attraction to Winthrop University actually began much earlier. Joe met Zeta on Winthrop's campus in Bancroft Hall on a blind date when she was a sophomore in the fall of 1954. "Winthrop was a part of our whole 56 years together," Zeta explained. Zeta worked for Winthrop for more than 20 years before retiring.

Zeta and the late Joe shared a passion for Winthrop sports, and even traveled to many away games for some sports and to all of the basketball away games. They traveled to the Big South Conference tournaments and all of the NCAA tournaments as well. They even traveled with the men's basketball team to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the softball team to Hawaii.

"We loved Winthrop sports and travel. Joe was a fan of anything with a ball in it," Zeta said.

Because of their love for Winthrop sports, the couple established the Joe and Zeta Sistare Athletic Training Fund and the Joe and Zeta Sistare Athletic Training Endowment. "We chose to establish the scholarships for the training of all the athletes involved in their individual sports. By making our gift to the athletic training center all student-athletes will benefit from it."

Even after Joe's 2012 death, the family continues to support Winthrop sports.

Zeta embraces several nicknames: "the one with the hat" and "Winthrop's biggest fan."

The Eagles sports fanatic is easy to spot at home games. Her garnet hat displays a variety of pins, pieces of basketball tournament nets and a small stuffed eagle. She also wears a self-designed vest emblazoned with Winthrop logos and pins from all of the NCAA tournaments with an enlarged Winthrop Eagle on the back.

Jeff Lahr, assistant athletic director for athletic training, said the gifts will be used to purchase rehabilitation equipment that will help the staff take care of the health needs of student-athletes. "We are very thankful for the Sistares' gift. They have always been some of the greatest supporters of Winthrop athletics. We really appreciate their help."

To contribute to the Joe and Zeta Sistare Athletic Training Fund and the Joe and Zeta Sistare Athletic Training Endowment, please contact Nate Brinkley or call 803/323-4906.

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