KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and its National Administrative Council (NAC) have voted to approve women’s wrestling as the association’s 28th national championship. The vote took place at the NAIA’s annual national convention in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday.
With the vote, the sport moves from invitational status to full national championship status. For an NAIA sport to achieve championship status, it must reach a minimum of 40 institutions to sponsor the sport as a college program to be considered.
“This is a great day for the sport of wrestling and for all of our female wrestling student-athletes,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “Women’s wrestling has seen steady growth and we are proud to become the first collegiate athletic association to offer it as a championship sport.”
The NAIA will begin work on determining several logistics in terms of National Championship format and qualification immediately and will announce over the summer.
“It’s an exciting time for NAIA Women’s Wrestling. I feel like we’ve been building on this for so many years, so to finally be at this incredible stage,” said NAIA Women’s Wrestling President Carl Murphree. Coaches’ Association.”The NAIA has led the charge in women’s wrestling and achieving champion status is a big step forward.”
WHAT THEY SAY
Lee Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. Women’s Wrestling Head Coach
I want to take this opportunity to thank from the bottom of my heart the visionary leaders of the NAIA who have just approved women’s wrestling as a championship sport. I have enjoyed collaborating with NAIA and NWCA leaders over the years to help establish new NAIA-affiliated women’s intercollegiate teams, fill head coaching vacancies, and provide leadership training. from CEO to the next great generation of aspiring coaches. It’s no surprise that the NAIA, the governing body that pioneered the creation of women’s intercollegiate wrestling teams, is also the FIRST to commit to a national championship.
Lifetime Women’s Head Wrestling Coach Ashley Flavin (Ga.)
I was an athlete at an NAIA school in the early 2000s when there were only a handful of schools sponsoring women’s wrestling. The growth that has occurred over the past 20 years is due to the dedication of athletes, coaches and administrations who believed when most of the country did not know the sport existed. For the NAIA, elevating women’s wrestling to champion status validates the dreams and hard work of the thousands of young women who have gone before her and the millions who will come in the future. Thank you to everyone who played a role in this process, but especially to the young women who always knew our place was on the mat.