ADRIAN, Mich. -- As Adrian College continues to see record enrollments, it also is adding more muscle to its athletic offerings. Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, for the first time since 1984, the college will offer wrestling-- this time for both men and women.
Adrian last offered wrestling for men from 1959-1984. The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) sponsored the sport from 1969-84. During those fifteen years Adrian College earned three MIAA Championships under head coach Paul MacDonald. The program, in its new era, will be run as a NCAA Division III athletic offering. The search for a head coach and recruitment of student-athletes will begin immediately.
"Adrian College has a strong tradition in collegiate wrestling and now is the right time to reintroduce the sport on campus," said athletic director, Michael Duffy. "There are far reaching advantages in adding wrestling and the sport is making a big comeback at the NCAA Division III level. The local Lenawee County area has strong roots in high school wrestling and would provide student-athletes an avenue to stay close to home to continue their careers."
When commenting on the new women's wrestling program Duffy was equally enthusiastic. "Women's wrestling is rapidly growing across the nation on the youth and high school levels, and there are still limited opportunities for competing at the college level. We believe this addition provides these student-athletes with the chance to continue their athletic pursuits while leveraging a well-rounded, liberal arts education."
Three regional institutions also boast wrestling teams: Olivet College, Alma College and Trine University. In total, 90 NCAA Division III institutions sponsor wrestling as of the 2013-14 school year. Earlier this year, Wartburg College (Iowa) captured its fourth-straight team NCAA Division III national championship in front of a record attendance of 8,787 spectators for the Saturday night finals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.