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Davenport University adds wrestling in 2014-15, hires Jamie Boyd as coach

Wrestling is the newest sport on the roster for Michigan-based Davenport University
Wrestling is the newest sport on the roster for Michigan-based Davenport University

Davenport University will launch a new intercollegiate wrestling program for the upcoming 2014-15 season, and has already hired Jamie Boyd as its head coach, reported Wednesday.

The Panthers’ wrestling program will be based at Davenport’s W.A. Lettinga Main Campus located in Caledonia, Mich., a suburb of Grand Rapids.

Boyd brings both on-the-mat and coaching experience to Davenport. He was a three-year starter at University of Notre Dame until the school eliminated its wrestling program in 1992, then completed his collegiate mat career Central Michigan University, where he was a finalist at the MAC (Mid-American Conference) Championships. He has coached at the college and prep level, most recently at Grand Rapids West Catholic High School.

“The candidate pool was strong and we appreciate the candidates who entered the process,” said Mike Stodola, Assistant Director of Athletics. “We feel that Coach Boyd has the background and qualifications to not only handle first-year challenges, but also lead this program to high levels of competitive success in the years to come. We are pleased he has accepted the opportunity to guide a new program. We are now seeking top quality student/athletes who will also embrace the challenge and compete on this historic first team.”

The school is already actively recruiting wrestlers to take to the mats this fall, and is interviewing candidates for assistant coaching positions.

The press statement announcing Davenport’s new wrestling program described the school as having one of the most rapidly-growing athletic departments in Michigan. As part of its strategic growth plan, Davenport will also be adding intercollegiate football in 2016-17 following on the heels of its new wrestling program. These new programs are intended to attract student-athletes who are seeking scholarship opportunities.

Wikipedia reports that Davenport presently offers 25 sports, most of which compete in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). Indoor sports compete in the Farmer’s Athletic Complex, dedicated in March 2013.

Founded in 1866, Davenport University is a private, non-profit, multi-location university based in suburban Grand Rapids, with other facilities located throughout Michigan. Davenport currently has an enrollment of approximately 13,500 students.

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