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Fresno State to drop wrestling program

Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com

Fresno State's wrestling program is being eliminated for the second time in 14 years.

The school announced Friday that the Fresno State wrestling program, which was dropped in 2006 in a cost-cutting move and returned to competition in 2017, will be eliminated at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, along with the women's lacrosse and men's tennis programs.

"Today's decision is difficult for everyone and yet it is a necessary step to ensure the financial viability of our athletics department," said President Joseph I. Castro. "We appreciate those who have supported these Bulldogs programs over the years, including coaches, current and former student-athletes, and their families."

The Fresno State athletics department has struggled financially during the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to save more than $2.5 million with the elimination of the three athletic programs. Fresno State's athletics revenue is down by $6.6 million.

"This is an incredibly difficult day for our entire Bulldog Family and one of the most challenging days of my career. Our mission is to holistically serve all of our student-athletes and prepare them for transformative success in competition and, more importantly, in the classroom and in life. So it is with great sadness and heavy hearts that this difficult decision was made," said Director of Athletics Terry Tumey.

The Bulldogs wrestling program, under the guidance of head coach Troy Steiner, concluded this past season with a dual meet record of 9-11, after finishing 9-8 the previous season. Five Bulldogs qualified for the 2020 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fresno State had the ninth highest attendance in Division I wrestling this past season, with an average attendance of 2,596. In 2019, Josh Hokit became Fresno State's first All-American since 2003 when he finished fifth at 197 pounds at the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

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