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NAIA Doane University in Nebraska to add women's wrestling for 2022-23

by Doane Athletics

Doane University will celebrate 150 years of educating our future leaders in 2022 and the year-long celebration will see the addition of a new sports offering at the university, providing more opportunities at Doane.

Following the recent success and growth of the men's wrestling program, the Tiger Athletic Department will grow by one next year with the addition of women's wrestling. The decision was approved recently by the Doane Board of Trustees.

Women's wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in America and the addition will bring Doane's sports offering to 23. In May, the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) approved the sanctioning of girls wrestling and holding a state championship. It was previously an emerging sport.

This year, there are 37 NAIA universities and colleges that sponsor women's wrestling with more adding the sport for next year. Women's wrestling is currently an NAIA Invitational Sport (under 40 teams), however, with other recent declarations to add the sport by fellow NAIA schools, the opportunity to be approved as an NAIA Championship Sport is now possible.

"We are pleased and excited to welcome women's wrestling to Doane University," Mark Wateska, Director of Athletics, commented. "Under the guidance and direction of Coach (Dana) Vote and his staff, we feel that we can build a nationally competitive program where the student-athletes have the opportunity to compete at the highest level while at the same time receive a world class education."

Doane men's wrestling coach Dana Vote will be promoted to Director of Wrestling, continuing on as the men's head coach while overseeing the development of the women's program. He will be the point of contact for recruiting until a women's head coach is named.

Since arriving at Doane in March 2019, Vote has quickly built the men's program into a national contender. The Tigers won the program's first conference championship last season and finished 12th nationally. He took over a program that returned only four (4) wrestlers from the 2018-19 team and has built the roster to 45 for the 2021-22 season as he enters his third season.

"The time to add women's wrestling is now and I am glad Doane has made the decision to move forward with this addition," Vote said. "I am fired up to get started in building this program and recruiting women who are ready to set the standard for Doane Women's Wrestling."

Recruiting will begin immediately for the first Doane women's wrestling team, and the Tigers are excited to have a couple of current female students with wrestling experience who are already planning on being involved with the new program.