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Michigan’s Adrian College brings back men’s wrestling, adds women’s team

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Wrestling returns to Adrian College in a big way, resurrecting its men’s wrestling program after a thirty-year absence, and adding its first-ever women’s mat program, the Michigan-based school announced Wednesday.

The new men’s and women’s programs will take to the mat for the 2015-16 season. Other Bulldog athletic programs compete in NCAA Division III.

Adrian had a men’s wrestling program from 1959 to 1984. According to the press statement, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) sponsored the sport from 1969-84. During those fifteen years Adrian College earned three MIAA Championships under head coach Paul MacDonald.

“Adrian College has a strong tradition in collegiate wrestling and now is the right time to reintroduce the sport on campus,” said athletic director, Michael Duffy. “There are far reaching advantages in adding wrestling and the sport is making a big comeback at the NCAA Division III level. The local Lenawee County area has strong roots in high school wrestling and would provide student-athletes an avenue to stay close to home to continue their careers.”

Duffy also addressed the unveiling of a new women’s wrestling program.

“Women’s wrestling is rapidly growing across the nation on the youth and high school levels, and there are still limited opportunities for competing at the college level,” Duffy said. “We believe this addition provides these student-athletes with the chance to continue their athletic pursuits while leveraging a well-rounded, liberal arts education.”

The school, located in southeast Michigan, has already launched a nationwide search for a head wrestling coach, and is actively recruiting potential student-athletes.

Adrian College becomes the fourth school to offer NCAA Division III wrestling in the region, joining Olivet College and Alma College in Michigan, and Trine University in nearby Angola, Ind. Throughout the U.S., 90 NCAA Division III institutions sponsor wrestling as of the 2013-14 school year.

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