Huntingdon College (AL) announces new NCAA Division III wrestling program for 2014-15 season
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Kacie Albert (Elite Level Sports Marketing)
MANHEIM, PA â€“ In a week filled with great news for the sport of wrestling, Huntingdon College (AL) has announced that it will be adding a new varsity program for the 2014-15 season at the NCAA Division III level.
The addition represents the 100th new varsity intercollegiate wrestling program added across the nation since 2001 and the first NCAA wrestling program in Alabama in over 30 years.
â€œOn behalf of the NWCA Board of Directors and our President Rob Koll, I am thrilled that the Huntingdon College Administration recognizes the educational value that wrestling will bring to their campus,â€ said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer.
The announcement for the new program was made at a press conference featuring Huntingdon College administrators, sponsors, friends of wrestling, and legendary University of Iowa Wrestling coach and Olympic Champion Dan Gable.
The news was made possible by a group of benefactors that collectively provided over $40,000 to help launch the program. Among these individuals are Bob Feldmeier Sr. (CEO of Feldmeier Equipment and former Princeton Wrestler), Greg Hatcher (prominent Arkansas businessman), and Stephen Chazen (President of UNUS Foundation).
In addition to these individuals, the U.S. Wrestling Foundation continued its support of college wrestling with a $10,000 donation to alleviate the start-up costs of the program.
â€œWe are thrilled to support Huntingdon College as they take the step of adding wrestling to their intercollegiate athletic program,â€ stated Jeff Waters, Board President of the US Wrestling Foundation. â€œThis support demonstrates the partnership between the Foundation, USA Wrestling and the National Wrestling Coaches Association as we come together to promote and grow the sport.â€
John Purnell, president of Brute, celebrated the addition of another program to the college ranks with the NWCA by donating a set of competition uniforms for 15 wrestlers through its R.E.A.C.H.E.S. (Rewarding Educational Athletic Choices Helping Each Sport) program.
The Huntingdon College administration also announced that Tom Storey would be the first head coach of the new program. Storey, a former wrestler at the Naval Academy, was an EIWA Champion and wrestled in two NCAA Championships.
"I am honored to be selected as the head wrestling coach at Huntingdon College,â€ said Storey. â€œI am looking forward to building a dynasty in D3 wrestling!"