USF now offering men’s and women’s wrestling programs

The University of Sioux Falls and its Sanford School of Medicine received $16.92 million from...
The University of Sioux Falls and its Sanford School of Medicine received $16.92 million from the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (SD BRIN).(Dakota News Now Staff)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 12:18 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The University of Sioux Falls will be offering men’s and women’s wrestling programs, with competitions beginning in the fall of 2023.

“We are thrilled to announce the return of men’s wrestling and the addition of women’s wrestling at USF,” said Athletic Director, Pam Gohl. “With wrestling’s popularity in the Midwest, we look forward to recruiting outstanding student-athletes to compete both at the regional and national level. Wrestlers train with a passion and resiliency that make them successful on and off the mat, so we think they will be a great fit and addition to our athletic department.”

USF is looking to hire two coaches, one for the Women’s Wrestling team (freestyle wrestling) and one for the Men’s Wrestling program (folk-style wrestling), according to a press release.

USF competes in NCAA Division II Athletics in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The NCAA currently categorizes women’s wrestling as an “emerging sport,” so schools can provide more athletic opportunities for women, and allow the university to have sponsorship opportunities while achieving NCAA championship status. Currently, 16 NCAA schools from Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Colorado are sponsoring and competing in Women’s Wrestling in 2022-2023.

Women’s Wrestling is growing and is now an Olympic sport, with over 32,000 young women wrestling in high schools nationally. Currently, there are only 115 collegiate women’s teams across all levels of competition.

USF’s men’s wrestling team

The USF’s Men’s Wrestling team will be competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), which currently has nine charter members and one affiliate member competing. NSIC Men’s Wrestling has had six team national championships and 18 individual champions all time, including 79 All-American honors since 2018.

“USF is proud of its broad array of co-curricular programming in athletics, performing arts, campus-based clubs, and faith formation activities,” said USF President, Brett Bradfield. “At USF, these opportunities serve to enhance the college experience for our students and align well with our mission-centric purpose. The addition of these new wrestling programs will serve to further perpetuate the rich traditions of excellence in all programming offered at the University of Sioux Falls.”

Wrestling is the seventh most popular men’s high school sport with over 245,000 participants nationwide, according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association; however, there are only 65 NCAA Division II Men’s Wrestling programs. NCAA Division II wrestling is considered an individual sport with 10 different weight classes.

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