Men’s tennis and wrestling are the 19th and 20th sports to join Kentucky Wesleyan College Athletics starting in the 2018-19 academic year. The department announced the addition of bowling, its 18th sport, over the summer.
The Great Midwest Athletic Conference continues to grow its sports sponsorship too as wrestling becomes the 23rd
league sport. Kentucky Wesleyan is the sixth league member, joining Alderson Broaddus, Findlay, Ohio Valley, Lake Erie, and Tiffin of the G-MAC to host wrestling, allowing the league to crown a conference champion. Kentucky Wesleyan joins Urbana next season with sports sponsorship, making them the 60th and 61st division II schools to sponsor wrestling. Two more schools are set to transition in ‘19-20 making the wrestling community even larger.
”We are excited to add wrestling to our athletic department here at Kentucky Wesleyan,” noted Director of Athletics Rob Mallory. “The high school wrestling community, both nationally and regionally, is tremendously underserved with regard to participation opportunities at the collegiate level. There is a specific void of NCAA, scholarship granting programs in our region. When combined with the outstanding tradition of high school wrestling in Western Kentucky and neighboring states, we feel strongly that our wrestling program can bolster the growth and success of Panther athletics.”
Wrestling will look to add a full complement of scholar-athletes over the course of its inaugural season. As High School wrestling continues to grow in Kentucky, Kentucky Wesleyan will also tap into the rich tradition of High School wrestling throughout the region and will continue to recruit at the local, regional, and national level. Kentucky Wesleyan is now the second Division II institution in Kentucky to offer wrestling, which has a season that begins in November and concludes in late February. A national search for the first wrestling coach in Kentucky Wesleyan history will begin immediately.
For the first time since 1999, the Panthers will field a men’s tennis team. Kentucky Wesleyan will be the seventh institution in the G-MAC to offer men’s tennis with Findlay, Walsh, Cedarville, Davis & Elkins and Hillsdale already having programs established. Tiffin, who is joining the G-MAC in the fall of 2018, also field a men’s tennis team.
“We are extremely proud to bring back the men’s tennis program at Kentucky Wesleyan. Men’s tennis produced a number of great alumni for this college that continue to give back in various ways,” commented Mallory. “Over the past few years, we have heard from the community that there is demand for more opportunity to participate at the college level, and we feel that this program can grow to be successful while helping to serve that need.”
Men’s tennis will compete during the fall and spring seasons with a conference championship in late April. Current Kentucky Wesleyan College women’s tennis head coach Diana Hunter will be the head coach for the men’s program as well.
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by Liz Wacienga