He enrolled at the University of Minnesota where his father was head coach of the men's gymnastics team. While there, he won the NCAA all-around title three times and the Big Ten Conference all-around title four times. In 1993, Roethlisberger won the Nissen Award.
John is the son of Fred Roethlisberger, who was a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympics gymnastics team. His sister Marie Roethlisberger was an alternate on the 1984 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. He earned his BS degree in finance and international business. He now co-owns the camp, Flipfest, along with John Macready. Flipfest is located on Lake Frances in Crossville, Tennessee, USA.