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Iowa Central to add women’s wrestling

Female wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation, and now, Iowa Central will be a destination spot for college students.

On Tuesday, night the Iowa Central Community College board formally approved women’s wrestling beginning in the fall of 2022.

Women’s wrestling will be the 32nd sport and 22nd NJCAA sanctioned program for Iowa Central — the most in the nation for any junior college.

“Our nine-county area is a hotbed for wrestling. Now, we can offer those students a chance to go to college,” said ICCC athletic director Kevin Twait. “They will have the opportunity to compete and stay close to home while receiving a quality education.

“They will be in a quality program. We’ll do it right.”

Twait said Iowa Central had been in discussions to add the sport for a little over a year and a half. When the University of Iowa added women’s wrestling, Iowa Central was pushed that much closer.

“I think one of the deciding factors was when Iowa added it,” Twait said. “There are four or five NAIA schools, along with NJCAA schools Indian Hills and Iowa Western, who are on board. I’ve had some conversations with Dr. (Jesse) Ulrich (Iowa Central president), and we came to the decision (in private) about two weeks ago.

“It was approved by the board and now we will begin the process of advertising for a coach. Then we will be ready to roll.”

Iowa Central wrestling coach Luke Moffitt, a former Big Ten champion at Iowa, is excited for the new addition.

“I think Iowa Central is a great environment for student-athletes,” Moffitt said. “Female wrestlers can now take the next step and use wrestling to further their education.”

Female wrestling is still not sanctioned at the Iowa high school level, but is closing in as there are 50 schools needed to push the movement. A total of 32 states have sanctioned state championships.

“At this year’s Olympics, the United States had one of its best showings since 1984,” Moffitt said. “Women are now on the scene and it will only continue to gain attention and notoriety.

“It’s one of the fastestgrowing sports in the country. It’s just taking off.”

Moffitt doesn’t see the momentum slowing down anytime soon.

“The big one to help push it forward was when Iowa added it,” Moffitt said. “You have Grand View, Iowa Wesleyan, Indian Hills and Iowa Western already.

“There are big recruiting tournaments such as Super 32s, high school nationals and USA nationals all over the country. Females are competing at a higher level, and it’s exciting for the sport.”

The Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association has held a state tournament with over 40 girls from more than 100 different schools. Last year, over 600 high school girls participated in wrestling across Iowa.

“This area is a hotbed for wrestling,” Twait said. “We have a lot of great male wrestlers and with female wrestlers showing their potential as well.

“Fort Dodge and Humboldt have started to build around solid female athletes. This was a no-brainer for us. We have tremendous facilities, and it will be a great addition.”

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