Oskaloosa--William Penn Athletics Director Nik Rule is excited to announce the addition of women's wrestling to the list of intercollegiate sports the University offers.
The sport will begin competition in the 2020-2021 school year. It is the sixth sport to be added recently, joining men's and women's lacrosse, men's volleyball, and men's and women's shotgun sports. Men's and women's shotgun sports, which were announced last week, will also begin competition next year.
The NAIA, which has the largest number of women's wrestling teams of any intercollegiate association, had 25 schools participate in the fast-growing sport a year ago. Menlo (Calif.) claimed the inaugural NAIA National Invitational title this past March. The sport will be eligible for Championship status in the NAIA after it spends two years as an invitational sport and if it grows to 40 institutions.
"Women's wrestling is on the rise across the country with more and more high school girls competing each year," Rule said. "Its current status as an intercollegiate sport fits perfectly with William Penn as we continue to develop an athletic department that is ready for the future. I am excited for us to start the process to find our first head coach and work throughout the next year to develop the sport on our campus."
A total of 48 women's wrestling squads exist throughout the country (all divisions). WPU will become the fifth school in the Heart of America Athletic Conference to add it as Baker, Central Methodist, Grand View, and Missouri Valley are already competing or will begin competing this year.
A national search for a head coach will begin immediately.