Hempstead, NY -- The Hofstra University Department of Athletics is excited to announce that the Pride Wrestling program will be joining the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA), beginning with the 2013-14 season.
"We are thrilled to accept membership in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association," commented Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeffrey A. Hathaway. "The EIWA is the nation's oldest wrestling conference and provides us a partnership with outstanding academic institutions and wrestling programs that compete at the highest level. This move to the EIWA will allow our highly-successful wrestling program to compete against some of the nation's best teams on a regular basis. Our student-athletes and coaches as well as the Hofstra and Long Island wrestling communities are certainly excited about this new conference affiliation. We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our colleagues in the EIWA for offering us membership and we look forward to representing the conference with great pride."
"We are truly excited to be joining a great wrestling conference with a long tradition of excellence, both in the classroom and on the mat," Hofstra Head Wrestling Coach Robert Anspach said. "We are delighted to be associated with many of the top academic institutions, who also have some of the top wrestling programs in the country. In recent years, we have wrestled many of the teams in the EIWA. We look forward to renewing those rivalries as a conference opponent."
"The coaches and EIWA administrators looked at this and thought that Drexel and Hofstra were a great fit for our conference," stated Greg Strobel, executive director of the EIWA. "I've often wondered why Drexel and Hofstra weren't in our conference already, as it makes sense for them to be in this conference logistically because of their location and familiarity with our existing teams. This will be exciting for our fans, and we are looking forward to this year's tournament with Drexel and Hofstra participating alongside our existing members."
Hofstra, which has enjoyed a dominant 12-year tenure in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) for wrestling, winning 11 conference championships including the last two, will be joining a highly-competitive academic and athletic 18-team EIWA along with Binghamton University, Boston University, and Drexel University.
Current EIWA membership includes: Ivy League members Brown University, Cornell University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania; Patriot League members American University, Bucknell University, Lehigh University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy; Current Big East Member Rutgers University; Northeast Conference (NEC) member Sacred Heart University; and Centennial Conference member Franklin and Marshall, which wrestles on the Division I level.
The Big Red of Cornell have captured seven consecutive EIWA championships. Columbia and Pennsylvania have each competed in 109 EIWA Championship Tournaments with Princeton (107), Cornell (105) and Lehigh (101) close behind. Lehigh has won 34 team titles while Cornell has captured 21.
The EIWA, which received 45 bids to the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Des Moines, IA, earned six All-American honors.
Among the All-Americans was four-time national champion Kyle Dake from Cornell, who captured the 2013 title at 165 pounds after previously winning at 141, 149 and 157 pounds. Robert Hamlin from Lehigh placed second at 184 pounds while Steve Bosak from Cornell placed third at 184, Steve Santos from Columbia finished third at 149 and Nahshon Garrett from Cornell was third at 125.
Since joining the CAA in 2002, Hofstra has sent a total of 80 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, earned 17 All-American honors and won 50 individual conference titles.