NCAA Div. III Muhlenberg in Pennsylvania to launch women's wrestling program
by Muhlenberg Athletics
Further advancing its commitment to provide robust and competitive athletics opportunities, Muhlenberg College is adding women's varsity wrestling as its 23rd varsity sport. A search for a head coach will begin immediately. The program will begin full dual meet competition in the fall of 2024.
"Muhlenberg College is excited to join the small number of colleges and universities across the nation who have added women's wrestling to expand opportunities for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level," President Kathleen Harring says. "As a College, we are focused on preparing our students to make their impact, and we're thrilled that more of our student-athletes will now have the chance to do so in this dynamic sport."
According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association, since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to more than 31,000. More than 30 states sanction an official scholastic state championship, and in 2022 the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics adopted women's wrestling as a championship sport. Women's high school wrestling participation numbers are higher than the NCAA sponsored sports of crew, fencing, skiing and rifle.
"The Mules have a rich history in the sport of wrestling. Muhlenberg aims to be a leader in the rapid growth of girls' and women's wrestling and to help blaze the path for women's wrestling to be an NCAA championship sport," Director of Athletics and Recreation Lynn Tubman says. "We are ready to begin welcoming women wrestlers from both our local community and nationwide to join our Mule family."
With the addition of women's wrestling, Muhlenberg will have 12 sports for women and 11 for men.
The new sport will join the College's highly successful men's wrestling program that has produced six All-Americans, including Head Coach Jason McLean '01, and 37 national qualifiers. The men's wrestling program has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, compiling a 68-39 record in dual meets in the last five seasons and earning its first national ranking ever in 2020. The Mules crowned three champions at the 2023 Centennial Conference Championships.
"Women's wrestling is consistently growing locally, regionally and nationally. Establishing our women's program will be a boost for Muhlenberg athletics as well as our overall community," McLean says. "The young women that we bring to campus will be empowered to pursue their highest academic and athletic goals. I'm eager to see the program grow and take off. Roll Mules."