The announcement was made Monday, Feb. 12, the 210th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, who was a noted wrestler before being elected as the 16th president of the United States.
In addition to revealing the establishment of the two varsity mat programs, Central Methodist also revealed plans for a fundraising campaign to renovate one of the school’s most historical buildings, Clingenpeel Hall, as a future practice facility for the Eagles wrestling programs. The structure, built in 1906, was the long-time home for CMU’s basketball program.
The school has already launched a national job search to hire coaches for each of the new wrestling programs.
“We’re looking for two special individuals to run these programs,” said CMU Athletics Director Brian Spielbauer. “They will have to be focused on winning, but also focused on student success — that means helping young men and women complete their degrees and graduate, but also prepare for the job market and contribute to our society in a positive way.”
With that in mind, CMU President Roger Drake expects CMU wrestlers to perform well both academically and athletically.
“CMU athletes are scholars and we’ll expect wrestling to compete in the classroom as well as in the arena,” Drake said.
Both the men’s and women’s programs will compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. While men’s wrestling has been an NAIA sport for many years, women’s wrestling was just introduced in 2018.
With the addition of these two new programs, Central Methodist will now have a total of 14 varsity sports — an equal number for men and women.