Warner Pacific College will be adding men’s and women’s intercollegiate wrestling programs to its sports roster, the school located in Portland, Ore. announced Monday.
The wrestlers will compete in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) starting in the 2014-15 season. The school is already conducting a search for a head coach, and begun recruitment of student-athletes.
The College's decision to initiate a women's program is a historic addition for NAIA wrestling. Warner Pacific will become the 15th women's program in the NAIA, allowing women's wrestling to become a NAIA Recognized sport. Warner Pacific women's wrestling will be the third program in Oregon, joining non-NAIA programs at Pacific University and Southwest Oregon Community College.
Wrestling is not completely new to Warner Pacific. The school had a men’s wrestling program from 1968 to 1975 which compiled a 58-30-3 overall record, and had 35 wrestlers qualify for the NAIA championships.
"We're thrilled to offer a robust athletics program that serves the needs of a wide variety of students," said Warner Pacific President, Andrea Cook. "I believe men's and women's wrestling will provide many students new avenues in which to pursue their higher education goals, while strengthening their character through the principles inherent in Knights Athletics."
"Many top wrestlers in Oregon and Washington are forced to leave the state to pursue college wrestling, while others just stop wrestling after high school," said Director of Athletics Jamie Joss. "The return of wrestling at Warner Pacific College provides wrestlers in our region with the opportunity to continue their pursuit of athletic excellence, while providing an outstanding urban Christ-centered liberal arts education. We are very excited to find the right coach to lead both programs and begin recruiting student-athletes who are ready to excel as champions on the mat, in the classroom, and in life."
"Adding the women's program is a great opportunity for many of the top women's wrestlers from Washington to stay close to home, while also expanding the recruiting efforts of the college in California and Hawaii," Joss added.
Warner Pacific College is an urban, Christian, liberal arts college located in Portland, Ore. Founded in 1937, the college has an enrollment of approximately 1300 students, and is affiliated with the Church of God.
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