The University of Iowa made history on Thursday by announcing the addition of a women’s wrestling program, becoming the first Power Five conference school to adopt the sport.
Hawkeyes athletic director Gary Barta shared the good news in a press release on Thursday morning.
“This is an exciting day for the university, our department and the sport of women’s wrestling,” Barta said in the school's official release. “Our wrestling history and success makes this a perfect fit. We are confident that at Iowa, our women’s wrestling student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete at the highest level athletically and academically.”
The new Iowa women's wrestling team will join Presbyterian and Sacred Heart at the Division I level, in addition to 44 other NCAA-affiliated programs. However, the Hawkeyes will represent the largest school by far to incorporate the sport, which bodes well its future in college athletics.
In the official announcement, Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands spoke about the importance of having this groundbreaking moment take place in Iowa City.
“This is important to a lot of people for a lot of reasons,” Brands said. “This is historic. This needed to happen and it’s appropriate that it is happening first at the University of Iowa. There is no greater place in the world to wrestle than Iowa City, Iowa, and with our new wrestling facility we are prepared to offer world-class training for both our Hawkeye men and women.”
Now that Iowa has taken the leap, women's wrestling will surely be added by other Power Five schools in the near future, which will help grow the sports at all ages and provide further athletic opportunities for women at the college level.