COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- The Iowa Western Community College board of trustees voted April 18 to begin a Division I junior college wrestling program beginning in the Fall 2011.
"It's clear we can be successful, and it's clear there's a need for kids that still want to wrestle and go to college," said board member Brent Siegrist of Council Bluffs. "I think it's great. Hopefully, everything will fall into place."
Following a presentation from IWCC Athletic Director Brenda Hampton, the board (on a 6-2 vote) approved the start of wrestling in the fall with the stipulation that the college first interview and hire a qualified coach. That person will need to hit the ground running in terms of recruiting, making equipment purchases and scheduling meets for the upcoming season.
Iowa Western will compete in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) and join fellow conference foes Iowa Central Community College, Ellsworth, North Iowa Area Community College and Iowa Lakes Community College in offering wrestling. The National Junior College Athletic Association has 46 wrestling programs nationwide.
Iowa Western is expected to recruit upwards of 50 student/athletes to form the first wrestling team in school history. College officials are currently surveying its facilities to find a home for the new team. A committee of community leaders has already met to discuss fund-raising efforts for the $45,000 needed for start-up costs.
"As with all of our athletic programs, Iowa Western will be committed to making wrestling a quality experience for our student athletes," said Dr. Dan Kinney, president of Iowa Western.