Alma College (Mich.) announces addition of women's wrestling program
by Alma College Athletics
Photo courtesy of Alma College Athletics
ALMA, Mich. – Alma College's athletics department will add women's wrestling as the 28th varsity sport at the start of the 2022-23 academic year. The women's wrestling program will begin as a club sport in 2022-23 and transition to a varsity sponsored sport in 2023-24.
"We are thrilled to announce the addition of women's wrestling," Athletics Director Sarah Dehring said. "The support of the president's cabinet, Board of Trustees, alumni, and campus has been outstanding and truly demonstrates how Alma College supports women in athletics. We are excited to join others that have added women's wrestling nationally and to see how the NCAA Emerging Sport continues to grow, support equity and offer opportunities for women."
Women's wrestling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, according to the nonprofit National Wrestling Coaches Association. Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to over 28,000, according to 2021 data.
In May, the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) added a girls division to its Individual Wrestling Tournament series beginning in the 2021-22 school year.
Alma College is the fourth school from the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) to offer women's wrestling, joining more than 20 NCAA Division III programs nationwide.
"With the academic reputation of Alma College and facilities like the Hatcher Wrestling Room and Sherman Strength and Conditioning Facility, we are in a tremendous position to attract outstanding student-athletes for wrestling on both the men's and women's sides," said Todd Hibbs, director of wrestling.
"Alma College, like many other institutions in recent years, has made a great commitment to women's wrestling. We expect this addition to aid in recruiting and marketing of our men's program as well. It is absolutely our goal to see both programs compete nationally for academic and athletic awards," Hibbs continued.
The addition of women's wrestling comes at a time of tremendous growth for Alma College Athletics, particularly in women's sports. Eight new sports, including bowling, women's lacrosse, competitive cheer, dance, Spirit Squad and Esports, have been added in the past 11 years. In the 2021-22 academic year, close to 70 percent of all first-year students at Alma participated in athletics.
A nationwide search for Alma's head women's wrestling coach will begin early 2022. Follow @almascotswwrestling on Instagram and @Scotswwrestling on Twitter for more women's wrestling news and updates.