OSKALOOSA — William Penn University announced Monday that women’s wrestling will be added to their athletics departmenting starting in the 2020-21 school year.
The school has also added sixth men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s volleyball and men’s and women’s shotgun sports in recent months.
“Women’s wrestling is on the rise across the country with more and more high school girls competing each year,” William Penn University Athletics Director Nik Rule said. “Its current status as an intercollegiate sport fits perfectly with William Penn as we continue to develop an athletic department that is ready for the future. I am excited for us to start the process to find our first head coach and work throughout the next year to develop the sport on our campus.”
The NAIA had 25 schools participate a year ago, with Menlo (Calif.) claiming the inaugural NAIA National Invitational in March.
The sport will be eligible for championship status in the NAIA after it spends two years as an invitational sport and if it grows to 40 institutions, the school said in a news release.
Men’s and women’s shotgun sports, announced last week at William Penn, will also begin competition during the 2020-21 school year.
A total of 48 women’s wrestling teams currently operate through the U.S., and William Penn will become the fifth school in the Heart of America Athletic Conference to add it as Baker (Kan.), Central Methodist (Mo.), Grand View (Iowa), and Missouri Valley (Mo.) are already competing or will begin competing this year.
William Penn says a national search for a head coach for women’s wrestling will begin immediately.