Byron McFadden

Head coach Kenny Monday at Morgan State's first practice.


Morgan State welcomes Marymount for Season's Inaugural Home Dual, marking a landmark event

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

Morgan State University is set to mark a significant moment in its athletic history as it hosts its first home dual in wrestling against Marymount University at Hill Field House on Monday, November 20 at 6 p.m. (ET) in Baltimore, Maryland.

This match not only signifies a pivotal event in the Bears' wrestling calendar but also showcases a revival of the NCAA Division I, Varsity-level men's wrestling program after a 25-year hiatus. It is the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the country to offer the sport of wrestling at the NCAA Division I Varsity level.

Under the guidance of esteemed coach Kenny Monday, the first Black wrestler in history to win an Olympic gold medal, National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, three-time Olympian and former NCAA All-American standout, Morgan State aims to revive its wrestling legacy. The revival of the program was announced in October of 2021, and Monday's appointment marked a pivotal step in process, backed by a generous $2.7 million donation from the HBCU Wrestling Initiative.

This initiative, focused on reinstating wrestling programs across HBCU campuses, has gained support from influential wrestling icons such as Kerry McCoy and Erin Golston, and is led by Jahi Jones, the Executive Director of the HBCU Wrestling Initiative.

McCoy, a two-time Olympian, four-time World Cup Champion and three-time NCAA All-American, expressing his excitement for the return of Morgan State's wrestling program, emphasized the efforts alumni and supporters invested to reinstate this endeavor, envisioning a promising future for the team.

Words cannot express how happy I am to be able to attend the first home match since the return of Morgan State's program. For so many years, the alumni and supporters of the program were working to get the program back and now we're here. We are excited for this day and look forward to more great things in the future.
Kerry McCoy

Despite a challenging start to the season with a current 0-3 record, the Bears displayed potential in recent matches at the Navy Duals quad meet. Jacob Marsh, Kingsley Menifee, and Cameron Johnson secured victories against tough opponents, setting an encouraging tone for the upcoming home dual.

Prior to the home dual, Morgan State wrestling program heads to Fairfax, Virginia, to compete against George Mason and Minnesota at the George Mason Field House on Saturday, November 18. The Bears will face host George Mason at 12 p.m. (ET) and No. 14 Minnesota at 3 p.m. (ET). Both duals will be streamed on ESPN+.

As Morgan State embraces this historic moment, the reintroduction of NCAA Division I, Varsity-level men's wrestling to an HBCU platform marks a significant stride towards diversity and excellence in collegiate athletics. With a distinguished coaching staff and a strong team, this dual  marks an important event in college wrestling history.

Today marks a significant milestone in the return of competitive NCAA Division I wrestling at Historically Black Colleges & Universities. After 26 years of Morgan's wrestling program being dropped, wrestling is back! It is our belief that other HBCUs will look to Morgan State University as a lighthouse and follow suit. Making this moment not only big for HBCUs but for the entire sport of wrestling. Today is about opening doors, creating opportunities, and laying down a foundation for future generations of wrestlers. We're witnessing the dawn of a new era in wrestling, one that embraces inclusivity and celebrates diversity. This is more than a comeback; it's a step forward for the sport, for HBCUs, and for the athletes who will follow in these footsteps. Special thanks to our board at HBCU Wrestling, our generous supporters Morgan State University and Coach Kenny Monday who all played vital roles in making today a reality.
Jahi Jones, Executive Director of the HBCU Wrestling Initiative