‘Perfect fit’: University of Iowa adding women’s wrestling


IOWA CITY, Iowa – Head wrestling coach for the University of Iowa, Tom Brands, is adamant that Iowa City is the greatest place in the world to wrestle. Now women will soon have the chance to compete on the mat for the Hawkeyes.

The university announced Thursday it will add women’s wrestling as a sport starting in the 2023-24 season, becoming the first NCAA Division I, Power Five conference school to do so.

“This is an exciting day for the university, our department and the sport of women’s wrestling,” said Gary Barta, Iowa’s Athletics Director. “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.”

While girls’ high school wrestling is not yet sanctioned by the high school athletics’ unions in Iowa, more than 600 girls were part of the state tournament sponsored by the Iowa Coaches Association a year ago.

“This is important to a lot of people for a lot of reasons,” said Brands. “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.”

Women’s wrestling was recognized by the NCAA as an emerging sport in 2020.

A national search for a coach to head the program begins this fall.

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