WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — In an effort to grow, Shenandoah University is offering yet another collegiate sport.
The university announced Monday it will launch a men’s wrestling program for the 2020 fall season as a division 3 NCAA sport. Wrestling is the eleventh men’s sport at the university, and one university officials say is growing in popularity in the region.
“We believe that wrestling is going to provide another reason for young men in the Shenandoah Valley to continue their education here at home,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons in a press release.
The school’s director of intercollegiate athletics, Bridget Lyons, agreed.
“We’re in a great location in terms of recruiting,” she said. “With Pennsylvania close by, Ohio, the sport is growing within the state of Virginia as well. So kind of everything seemed to come together.”
Although the school is not currently starting a women’s team, it is something Lyons is considering in the future.
“In January, when we go to the NCA convention women’s wrestling, we’ll be voting on it as a possible emerging sport. So what that means is that it is one that the NCA sees to grow opportunities for women, potentially championships, etc.,” Lyons said. “So there are requirements in terms of how many schools will need to add women’s wrestling in order to move that forward. But it is the first step to make that happen. So I think if that happens, then certainly that will be in our sights, somewhere down the line.”
Currently, the university is searching for a coach for the program.