Blue Hose men wrestlers will compete in Southern Conference
FIRST DI SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY TO OFFER WOMEN WRESTLING: PC Adds Men’s and Women’s Wrestling; Men to Join Southern Conference -- The Citadel and Newberry also have men's wrestling
Presbyterian College Director of Athletics Danny Sterling announced TODAY the addition of men’s and women’s wrestling programs to the college’s athletic department.
The men’s wrestling program has accepted an invitation to join the Southern Conference (SoCon) as an associate member beginning with the 2019-20 academic year.
"We are extremely excited to be able to add these two programs to our athletic department,” said Sterling.
“We are also pleased that our men's wrestling program has been accepted into the Southern Conference. The SoCon is a strong wrestling conference, and puts us in a geographic footprint that makes sense for us. We look forward to the challenge of competing in the SoCon and expanding the brand of PC wrestling. We are also excited to be the first Division I institution to sponsor women’s wrestling."
The addition of men's and women's wrestling are the first new programs for PC since women’s lacrosse began competition in 2005 and pushes the college’s number of varsity sports to 17.
There are currently 76 Division I men's wrestling programs, while PC will be the first Division I program to sponsor women’s wrestling, joining 38 other programs that currently compete under the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA).
"The Presbyterian College Athletics Administration should be applauded for its foresight and progressive actions leading to the implementation of Division I men’s and women’s wrestling programs, the first duo of its kind in the history of DI collegiate wrestling," said Mike Moyer, Executive Director, National Wrestling Coaches Association. "This a monumental moment for our sport."
The men’s squad will compete in a limited varsity schedule next season, before joining the SoCon as a full member in 2019. The women's wrestling team will compete as an independent, beginning next season.
Current SoCon wrestling members include Appalachian State, Campbell, Chattanooga, The Citadel, Davidson, Gardner-Webb, VMI, and SIUE, though the Cougars will move to the MAC in 2018.
“The Southern Conference has consistently addressed wrestling membership in a way to benefit the health of the sport, and we think the addition of Presbyterian fits with that philosophy," said league commissioner John Iamarino. "It gives a new program a conference home that makes sense geographically and restores our membership in 2019-20 to eight programs for purposes of scheduling and the conference championship. It’s a winning solution for all parties."
The 2018 SoCon tournament will be the 81st edition of the tournament, which originated in 1930. League individual champions get automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournament. The SoCon sent 19 wrestlers to NCAAs last year.
RELATED -- SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference will add Presbyterian College as an associate member for wrestling for the 2019-20 season, Commissioner John Iamarino announced Thursday. The addition of the Blue Hose, who are launching their program next season, will bring the SoCon wrestling membership back to eight following the departure of associate member SIUE after this season.
“The Southern Conference has consistently addressed wrestling membership in a way to benefit the
Presbyterian is a private liberal arts college with an undergraduate enrollment of just over 1,000. Located in Clinton, South Carolina, PC fits neatly into the Southern Conference’s geographical footprint. The Blue Hose will
“We are extremely excited to be able to add men’s wrestling to our athletic department,” Presbyterian Director of Athletics Danny Sterling said. “We are also extremely pleased that our men's wrestling program has been accepted into the Southern Conference. The SoCon is a strong wrestling conference and puts us in a geographic footprint that makes sense for us. We look forward to the challenge of competing in the SoCon and expanding the brand of PC wrestling.”
The Blue Hose are in the process of hiring a coach and will compete in a limited, independent schedule in 2018-19. PC will be eligible for SoCon team and individual titles immediately upon its entry into the league.
The Southern Conference boasts a long and rich wrestling tradition that stretches back to the first league championship in 1930. This season’s championship, slated for March 3, 2018, at The Citadel’s McAlister Field House in Charleston, South Carolina, will be the 81st edition of the tournament.
Between automatic qualifiers and at-large selections, the SoCon sent 19 student-athletes to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship last season, with a league-record three – Appalachian State’s Denzel Dejournette, Campbell’s Nathan Kraisser and SIUE’s Jake Residori –
WHAT COLLEGIATE WRESTLING LOOKS LIKE: