Ohio Wesleyan University will reinstate men’s wrestling and add women’s rowing as varsity sports for the 2018-19 academic year, following approval by the Board of Trustees in February. “These sports will provide great opportunities for our student-athletes,” says Roger Ingles, director of athletics.
“Through the addition of these two new programs, the growth of the Ohio Wesleyan Athletics Department will play an integral part in the University’s strategic growth.”
Plans call for head coaches for each sport to be hired during the summer. The teams will compete as club sports in 2017-18, and varsity competition will begin in 2018-19.
The additions increase Ohio Wesleyan’s complement of varsity sports to 25, with 13 for women and 12 for men. They are the first varsity sports to be added at Ohio Wesleyan since 2010, when women’s golf was added.
Wrestling was a varsity sport at Ohio Wesleyan from 1954 to 1984 under the direction of Ray Leech ’49, until Leech retired and OWU left the Ohio Athletic Conference to join the North Coast Athletic Conference.
OWU also will be recruiting students next year to field a marching band beginning in fall 2018.