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St. Olaf to discontinue wrestling program


NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- The St. Olaf College Department of Athletics announced on Friday that it will discontinue the sport of men's wrestling, effective at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

The coaching staff and student-athletes were notified of the decision at a meeting prior to Friday's announcement.

"Providing our student-athletes with a quality experience is our top priority," said St. Olaf College Athletic Director Ryan Bowles. "We are committed to ensuring that they have the opportunity to flourish academically, socially, and athletically. For wrestling, the demands of our small program and dwindling roster do not meet our standards or provide a sustainable model of excellence."

St. Olaf first offered wrestling as a varsity sport in 1949 and won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) team championship in 1950-51. The MIAC stopped sponsoring the sport of men's wrestling after the 2002-03 academic year.

"This is a decision we did not take lightly," Bowles added. "We recognize and appreciate the efforts our coaches and student-athletes have made and all they have done for Ole wrestling, as well as the entire St. Olaf community. We will rally around the impacted coaches and student-athletes and support them in this time of change."

Head coach Sean Ahrar has been offered an opportunity to remain at the College in a different capacity beginning next year.

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