DEFIANCE, OHIO - Defiance College has officially added men's wrestling as an intercollegiate varsity sport, announced Monday, Ocrober 9 by Jodie Holava, interim director of athletics.
"I'm excited to announce the re-introduction of wrestling as our 19th varsity sport program," Holava said. "We are thrilled to provide this new athletic experience to not only our Defiance College community but future prospective students, as well as continue to provide a supportive academic and athletic environment."
Defiance, competing within NCAA Division III and as part of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) is expected to hire a coach this winter and begin varsity competition during the 2018-19 academic year. DC had previously offered the sport from 1966 to the early 1990's.
The Yellow Jackets become the third member of the HCAC to offer wrestling, joining Manchester (Ind.) and Mount St. Joseph. Defiance will compete as an independent institution next season.
"We are very excited for the addition of a varsity wrestling program," said Dr. Richanne Mankey, Defiance College President. "This addition will enhance our athletic program and the recruitment of future students will provide support to our strategic enrollment plan."
There were 11,550 high school wrestlers in the state of Ohio during the 2015-16 year of competition. More than 56,000 fans supported the OHSAA State Wrestling Individual Tournament in Columbus last season, the third-highest attendance for any sport behind basketball and football.