Monaghan explained that a nationwide search has already begun to find a head coach and whether the sport gets started next year "will be contingent on identifying the appropriate leader to come in this fall and begin recruiting and putting the pieces together to be able to begin in that time frame."
Because wrestling is a staple in high schools in this part of the country and many of the schools in the Indian Hills region have been highly competitive at the state level, Monaghan said the college believes athletes from area high schools will give IHCC an opportunity to become competitive immediately. "I am certain this is the perfect sport to be the next addition to our athletic department," Monaghan said. "Women's wrestling has seen tremendous growth and I wanted to ensure we are at the forefront of NJCAA schools providing this opportunity to young women looking to compete at the collegiate level while also seeking to start their post-secondary academic careers at a community college."
There are currently five schools in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference that have a men's wrestling program - Iowa Western, Iowa Lakes, NIACC, Iowa Central and Ellsworth. None of the ICCAC schools has women's wrestling yet. It is not a sanctioned sport by the NJCAA. Although it is not sanctioned at the high school level now in Iowa, Monaghan said 16 high school athletic associations across the nation have sanctioned girls' wrestling.
Nationally, 53 men's teams compete in wresting in the NJCAA. There are 61 collegiate women's wrestling programs, in all levels, across the country.
In Iowa, William Penn, Iowa Wesleyan and Grand View have all added women's wrestling in the past year.
Monaghan points out there were more than 19,000 female wrestlers in high schools last year and around 300,000 males competing in the sport.
Wrestling will join baseball as the Indian Hills sports based at the Centerville campus. Dean Noel Gorden said, "We are so excited to add wrestling to our campus. Here we are in the heart of wrestling country and we're proud to be the first community college in Iowa to offer women's wrestling. It's the fastest-growing women's sport in the nation. This is going to be a great addition to our campus community."
Wrestling will be the 11th different athletic offering at Indian Hills and the 5th to have both men's and women's student-athletes.
Anyone interested in learning more about, or participating in, the Indian Hills wrestling program can contact Monaghan at IHCC (641-683-5207).