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    New Ottawa University wrestling programs get boost

    OTTAWA, Kan. -- Ottawa University officially announced in the fall that it was starting both men's and women's wrestling and will begin intercollegiate competition in the 2014-15 academic year. The women's team will become the first and only four-year program in the state of Kansas. Both programs have recruited some outstanding wrestlers for the inaugural season.

    Starting up a new wrestling program is exciting and now the new programs have received a boost with a $5,000 start-up grant from the U.S. Wrestling Foundation which recognizes the value of adding men's and women's wrestling in a state with relatively few collegiate wrestling options.

    “The United States Wrestling Foundation, in partnership with the National Wrestling Coaches Association and USA Wrestling, is exceedingly pleased to provide financial support to Ottawa University as they initiate men’s and women’s wrestling,” said Jeff Waters, Board President of the Foundation. “Wrestling has a long and deep tradition in Kansas and we believe more college wrestling opportunities should be available to our men and women athletes.”

    “There has never been a more important time for the wrestling community to be working together,” said Mike Moyer, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association. “Over 110 new collegiate wrestling programs have been established/re-established since 2001 and now that we have this partnership with the US Wrestling Foundation and USA Wrestling, we are in a great position to establish many more college teams over the next decade.”

    The grant will be instrumental in off-setting the cost of much-needed equipment and supplies including competition mats for the start-up of the two wrestling programs.

    "I am very excited about this grant, which will help continue the great work Ottawa University has already begun to establish this new wrestling program," said OU head men's and women's wrestling coach Kevin Andres. "Ottawa has been strongly committed to creating excellent facilities for the team, and this grant will be a great asset in that endeavor."

    Head Coach Kevin Andres and graduate assistant coach Brandy Green continue to actively recruit wrestlers for Ottawa University's historic fall season and are well on their way to having 30-40 wrestlers on campus next year. Additional funds and support are being sought for the start-up of the programs and Ottawa University continues to work closely with several organizations the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association. Coach Andres can be reached at kevin.andres@ottawa.edu or 785-248-2646.

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