GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Davenport University has announced the addition of women's wrestling as a program that will start competing during the 2020-21 school year. The current head coach of the men's wrestling program, Jamie Boyd, will also lead the women's program.
"As we assessed the athletic landscape in our region, we noticed a consistent uptick of interest in women's wrestling," said Paul Lowden, executive director of intercollegiate athletics. "We have continued to gauge the growth of women's wrestling in our area, which included the addition of the first Michigan High School Girls Wrestling Finals. With the addition of a collegiate women's wrestling program at Davenport, we feel that we can offer a unique opportunity for females to extend their wrestling careers while achieving their academic goals."
The women's wrestling program will compete under the governing body of the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA). The WCWA currently as a membership of 38 collegiate programs.
The program will follow eligibility rules similar to the NCAA and NAIA programs.
Davenport University will be the second institution in the state of Michigan to join the WCWA. The team will compete in 10 different weight classes and use international freestyle rules during competition. Members of the WCWA can also compete in USAW Senior and Jr. Fila events.
"I believe it is a tremendous step for this University in showing its support for the sport of wrestling by establishing a women's program in 2020," said Boyd. "The state of Michigan alone has an abundance of highly-talented female wrestlers that will now have the opportunity to continue their wrestling careers while obtaining a great education. I am very excited about building the foundation for the women's program and looking forward to our first season."