"Men's and women's wrestling are strategic additions as we continue to grow the Hiram College athletic department," Hibbs said. "Similar to recent additions of men's volleyball and women's cheer and STUNT, we expect these programs to have an immediate impact on our campus."
A search for a head men's wrestling coach and director of wrestling operations will begin immediately, with men's wrestling expected to begin competition in the 2020-21 season. A search for a head women's wrestling coach will begin no later than the fall of 2020 with the program expected to begin competing in 2021-22.
The addition of men's wrestling re-establishes a program that competed from 1954 to 1971 in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) and from 1972 to 1987 in the Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC). Over 33-years, 10 Terriers earned All-America honors, and 25 former wrestlers have since been inducted into the William H. Hollinger Hall of Fame.
During their 17-year history in the OAC, 29 Terriers earned conference championships, 40 were named All-OAC and the Terriers won six OAC Tournaments. And in their 16 years in the PAC, 31 Terriers earned conference championships and five were named the PAC's Most-Outstanding Wrestler.
"We will need assistance from our proud alumni base to ensure a quick rise to excellence for these programs," Hibbs said. "A high standard in collegiate wrestling was established under previous coaches and administrations, and we fully expect to rise to that level in each of these programs. I encourage anyone in the wrestling community who wants to be supportive to reach out to us."
The Terriers will join 114 other men's wrestling programs competing at the NCAA Division III level in the 2020-21 season, including 18 in the Ohio, Michigan and Indiana area and two within the North Coast Athletic Conference, while the NCAA's Committee on Women's Athletics recently "recommended that all three divisions of the NCAA governance structure add women's wrestling as an NCAA emerging sport, effective August 1, 2020."
Men's and women's wrestling are the first sports added by Hiram College since Cheer & STUNT and men's volleyball were added in 2017. With the addition of men's and women's wrestling, the Terriers will have more than 350 athletes competing across 18 varsity programs at the NCAA Division III level.
Those interested in helping support the addition of men's and women's wrestling programs can reach out to Todd Hibbs at (330) 569-5340 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.