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Wrestling to return to Oregon's Umpqua Community College

Wrestling will be returning to Umpqua Community College this fall, the Oregon-based two-year college announced.

Craig Jackson, who took over as UCC's athletic director in August, confirmed Thursday night that men's and women's wrestling -- along with men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's obstacle course racing -- will begin competing at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year.

Men's wrestling was among Umpqua's intercollegiate sports until the early 1980s, while women's wrestling will be a completely new offering.

These new sports will join the existing athletics roster of volleyball and men's and women's basketball.

"We're excited that we're going to add six new teams to our existing three teams in three different sports," Jackson said. "We're looking forward to what the future holds for UCC athletics.

"It allows us to serve Douglas County better," Jackson added, referring to the county that is home to Umpqua Community College. "It allows some kids who may not get the opportunity to stay home and play for their local community college to do so in the future."

Jackson also cited a high participation rate among high school athletes in the college's service area -- along with no need to add new facilities -- as making the addition of wrestling "a no-brainer."

A search for coaches will begin soon.

Located in Roseburg in southwest Oregon, Umpqua Community College was founded in 1964. The two-year public school has an enrollment of 3,300 full-time and approximately 16,000 part-time students.

Umpqua Community College made headlines in October 2015 for a mass shooting that left nine dead. Chris Mintz, college student, father, Army veteran and former wrestler, took seven bullets and broke both of his legs trying to save his fellow students. Mintz, then 30, had wrestled in high school before joining the U.S. Army in 2003, then, about five years ago, competed in at least two amateur mixed martial arts bouts.

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