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MINNEAPOLIS — Augsburg University is continuing its tradition of being a pioneer in women’s athletics by creating a varsity women’s wrestling team, which will begin competition in the 2019-20 school year with Max Mejia as its first head coach, the university has announced.
By being the only collegiate institution in Minnesota to currently sponsor a varsity women’s wrestling program, Augsburg continues to lead the field in adding athletic opportunities for women. Women’s wrestling will be the 22nd varsity sport offered at Augsburg, and the 12th Auggie women’s sport. In 1995, Augsburg was the first college or university in the Midwest to sponsor a varsity women’s ice hockey team, and in 2014, Augsburg became the first collegiate institution in Minnesota to sponsor a varsity women’s lacrosse team.
“I am proud that our outstanding intercollegiate athletics program will once again set a new standard for offering competition opportunities for women,” said Augsburg President Dr. Paul Pribbenow. “Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and it is especially fitting that Augsburg — with its nationally recognized men’s wresting program — will join this movement. I look forward to our women’s wrestling program recruiting top-notch student-athletes from across the country and competing at the highest level.”
Adding women’s wrestling will add to Augsburg’s seven-decade reputation as one of the elite small-college wrestling programs in the nation. Augsburg has won 13 NCAA Division III national championships in men’s wrestling, including the most recent title in March.
Currently, 46 colleges and universities in the United States sponsor women’s wrestling on the varsity level, with another 14, including Augsburg, planning to add the sport within the next two years.