DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines Public School District is adding girls wrestling to its roster of sports and had hired the program’s first head coach for the district-wide team.

DMPS announced the addition of girls wrestling Tuesday along with the hiring of Samantha Bush.

In the first year of the program, which is also the first year wrestling is sanctioned by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, the district will have a united team. The host school and sponsor will be East High School, but assistant coaches will be assigned to the Hoover-North program, East, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. Coach Bush will move between the schools in order to work with all the wrestlers.

“I believe that wrestling is a great sport for young women,” said Bush. “It teaches responsibility, self-defense and it gives a sense of great self-confidence which I believe to be very important for young women everywhere.”

Practices can begin on October 31 and competition starts on November 14, according to the IGHSAU.

Jason Allen, Director of District Activities and Community Education at DMPS, said “The addition of high school girls wresting further supports our commitment to expand access and opportunities for our female athletes, honoring the legacy and spirit of women past and present during the 50th anniversary of Title IX.”

Bush is currently an assistant coach of the women’s wrestling club at Grand View University, while she finishes up her degree in psychology. She captained the women’s wrestling team at MacMurray College before transferring to Grand View.