LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas at Little Rock today unveiled a plan to add a major sport to its intercollegiate athletics program, a strategic decision that is expected to increase student enrollment. The final decision is conditional on approval from the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees.
Chancellor Andrew Rogerson said UA Little Rock plans to add wrestling as its 15th sport, becoming the only NCAA Division I wrestling program in the state. The news was announced at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday, March 17.
Pending board approval, Little Rock wrestling will begin competition in fall 2019.
“This is exciting news for the university as we continue to elevate and grow our athletics program and find opportunities for enrollment growth,” said Rogerson. “Our student-athletes as a group have the highest Division I graduation success rate in the state, so we’re confident this program will bring in additional students with high GPAs and success in the classroom.”
The addition of wrestling is a major milestone for both the athletics department and the sport. Arkansas has seen tremendous growth with about 200 high schools across the state supporting a wrestling program.
“Little Rock Athletics is thrilled to announce the addition of Division I wrestling to our campus,” said Director of Athletics Chasse Conque. “This serves as an exciting milestone for our department, adding a program that will complement and enhance the profile of our existing 14 sports.”
The idea came to fruition after a recent $1.4 million pledge from Greg Hatcher to secure funding to begin the program. The gift from Hatcher, a prominent Little Rock businessman and supporter of youth sports, will help UA Little Rock build a wrestling facility, purchase equipment, and fund operational expenditures.
“Thanks to Chancellor Andrew Rogerson and Athletic Director Chasse Conque, Little Rock and the state of Arkansas will now be the home to Division I wrestling,” Hatcher said. “This will now bring wrestling at the highest level to our city in the grandest way possible, and I couldn’t be happier for our city and state.”
“Trojan Athletics is most grateful to Greg Hatcher for his generous commitment, helping take this from a concept to a reality,” Conque said. “Greg’s passion for wrestling has been felt across the entire state as interest in the sport has gained tremendous momentum in Arkansas over the last decade.”
Little Rock will begin the process of seeking the program’s first head coach, who will then begin recruiting student-athletes. With the addition of wrestling, as well as increased scholarship opportunities in a number of female sports, the Trojans will bring the number of student-athletes competing for Little Rock to more than 250 in the next few years.
Wrestling is not new to the Jack Stephens Center, which has served as the host venue for the Arkansas State Wrestling Championships since 2008. The Little Rock Trojans will host their home meets at the Jack Stephens Center with the first meet anticipated to take place in late 2019.
Bringing a Division I wrestling program to Little Rock has been a conversation that has been ongoing for a number of years. The decision was reached independently of the ongoing feasibility study, which is expected to conclude in late spring 2018. The possibility of adding a football and marching band program remains viable.
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. – Ouachita Baptist wrestler Tyler Mann (Little Rock, Ark.) became the eighth different Tiger in program history to garner All-America honors, in route to a birth in the National Semifinals.
“Amazing, no words can describe how proud we are of Tyler.” Ouachita wrestling coach Kevin Crutchmer said, “We are not through preparing, there is still a lot of wrestling left.”
Mann won his opening round matchup in the 165-pound weight division against Greg Hilliard of Belmont Abbey, 6-0. In the quarterfinal matchup, Mann and Devin Austin battled to a 1-1 tie in regulation. Mann won in overtime taking the match 3-1.
The Little Rock native will face off against Bret Romanzak of Ashland. Romanzak finished the regular season 38-4 and won both of his matches by a combined score of 11-2.
On the other side of the bracket Rodney Shephard of UNC Pembroke and Christian Smith of California Baptist square off for a spot in the finals.
If Mann wins both of his matches tomorrow, he will become the programs second ever individual National Champion. Dallas Smith was the last Tiger to accomplish the feat back in the 2015 season.
To stay up-to-date with all the latest wrestling news, stay tuned to obutigers.com or on twitter @OuachitaTigers or @obutigertough
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, USA Wrestling and FloWrestlingon Friday released their first national rankings for high school girls.
The three leading wrestling organizations have partnered to create regular national rankings and will work together to strategically publish rankings throughout the year. Rankings will be on each organization’s website as well as being promoted through each of their different media platforms.
“One of the best ways to grow our sport is through increased participation from female athletes,” said National Wrestling Hall of Fame Executive Director Lee Roy Smith. “We all feel that it is time for our female wrestlers to be awarded the same opportunities as male wrestlers, and having regular national rankings is a positive step towards making that happen.”
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Our very won Randy Steen has been handed the Bobby Walton Award, an honor recognizing the most oustanding mat official from the Junior National Duals Freestyle in Tulsa back in June.
Recognized as one of the top officials in the sport, is also the lead official at the state tournament. Steen has been involved with wrestling for the past 47 years and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He’s been involved with the sports since the 8th grade, having wrestled for four years in high school and lettered three years at Southwest Missouri State University.
After graduating college Steen began coaching and officiating and has played a vital role in the growth of Arkansas wrestling since it was sanctioned as a high school sport in 2008. He spent three years coaching at Rogers Heritage, where he led the Eagles to a state championship.
Click here to view the State Tournament Flyer.
The dates are April 29, 2017
Dear Arkansas Wrestlers and Arkansas Fans:
The numbers of people that have wrestled are between 6 -8 million. These are potential fans. We have to find them and lure them back to wrestling.
Wrestling has never been able to truly quantify for the National TV Networks the true size and scope of our sport and its potential fan base….or even begin to document those “casual supporters”…
The National Registry is an effort to address all of the above issues if our sport will allow itself to be organized.
I am asking you to get behind the effort of finding and registering ONE Million Fans. Sign up at National Registry 4 Wrestling! We need every Arkansas wrestler to sign up!
It is simple, yes it is free and agnostic… takes 1 minute. You won’t get badgered with emails. You will get notifications of when wrestling will be on TV and postings on our website.
Please take a few second s and stand up to be counted and inform your circles that might care. If you register, in the referral box add my Promo- AWA…If you want to help simply add in the next box your referral code. PROMO (your initials).
If you sign-up 10 people they will send you a Asics T-Shirt, 25 you get a Asics Hood and 100 you get a Asics Jacket. Wrestling Needs You!
Yours in wrestling,
Arkansas Wrestling Association
Terry Shockley to succeed Jim Keen Sr. as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
STILLWATER, Okla…The Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum elected Terry Shockley of DeBary, Florida, as its Chairman of the Board at its annual fall board meeting. Shockley was initially elected to the Board of Governors in 2007 and has served as secretary of the organization since 2008.
Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen, Sr. as board chair.
“At the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum and the Dan Gable Museum we have a unique opportunity to inspire future generations of wrestlers and fans, while preserving and recognizing the historical accomplishments of the sport,” Shockley said. “I’m honored to serve this great American institution.”
The Board of Governors also elected the following officers to begin their terms on Jan. 2, 2014:
Vice Chair — Steve Silver, Forny, Texas
Secretary — Tom Slowey, Torrance, Calif.
Treasurer — Rusty Shaw, Stillwater, Okla.
The board met in Kansas City on Oct. 28-29 to elect new officers, confirm the selection of inductees for the Class of 2014 and to accelerate new strategic priorities for the organization.
“As we further our accomplishments with the capital campaign, I see great gains through technology which will enhance our outreach and further champion the oldest and greatest sport,” Shockley said.
The Hall of Fame will release the Class of 2014 Inductees next week.
Terry Shockley Bio:
The Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum elected Terry Shockley of DeBary, Florida, as it’s Chairman of the Board at the annual fall board meeting, October 28th 2013. Shockley was initially elected to the Board of Governors in 2007 and has served as secretary of the organization since 2008.
He was inducted into the Wisconsin State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006 for his lifetime of service to the sport of wrestling. He also was inducted into the NCAA Division III Hall of Fame by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 2011.
In September of 2008, Terry and Sandy Shockley endowed the Head Wrestling Coach’s position at his a alma mater, Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. Graduating in 1962, Shockley competed on the varsity wrestling team where he was a three year captain, four-year letter winner, three time Conference champion, compiling a 69-9 career record while winning many championships including the NCAA Mid-East Regional and becoming a National Qualifier for the 1962 National Tournament in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Following graduation, he served as head wrestling coach at the University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kan.) where he earned a Masters Degree in Radio, TV and Film.
As a career broadcaster, Shockley began his own business, Shockley Communications, in 1985 with his wife Sandy in Madison. The company operated TV, Radio and Video Production properties in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Shockley started Shockley Group, Inc. in 2001, which provides sales and leadership training, business consulting, and motivational speaking to other companies. Today, Shockley is Chairman of the Board of Armada Media Corporation, a company that owns and operates radio stations serving 7 upper mid-west states.
While living and building his broadcasting career in Madison, Wisconsin, Shockley coached the Madison YMCA Youth Wrestling Team for 20 years, was a charter member and co-founder of the Badger Wrestling Booster Club, and served as the PA Voice of Badger Wrestling for 30 years.
Shockley was a member of the Augustana College Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2006. He was inducted into the Augustana “Tribe of Vikings” Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999.
He and his wife Sandy have two grown married children: Toni Peterson, Minnetrista, Minnesota; Todd Shockley, Chicago, Illinois, and two granddaughters: Callie Peterson; and Sydnie Peterson.
Little Rock McClellan has become the latest Arkansas high school to make wrestling a part of their athletics department. Athletic director Frank Williams and head coach Anthony Sessions made the announcement they will become the 64th school to add wrestling in Arkansas, continuing the sport’s rapid growth in the natural state.
Sessions joins the Little Rock school with championship experience, having led Conway to a state title while previously as coach of the Wampus Cats. McClellan made the decision add wrestling as a way to not only give students athletes an opportunity to play a new sport, but to also improve the Lions’ football team. The plan is to have the majority of the football players wrestle in the offseason to help give them better balance, strength, conditioning, and mental toughness. Please congratulate the entire McClellan administration on giving their students an opportunity to compete in the state’s fastest growing sport.
McClellan joins Hazen, Hot Springs, and Hot Springs Lakeside as high schools that will field wrestling programs this season. In addition, Lyon College and Williams Baptist College have announced they have added wrestling programs to compete in the 2014-15 season.