USF to Add Men’s & Women’s Wrestling

SIOUX FALLS, SD (USFCougars.com) – The University of Sioux Falls has announced that it will add Men’s and Women’s Wrestling as the 18th and 19th sports teams at the university, with competition to begin in the fall of 2023. The search for two different head coaches is underway now, one for the Women’s Wrestling team (freestyle wrestling) and one for the Men’s Wrestling program (folk-style wrestling).

USF competes in NCAA Division II Athletics in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Because the NCAA currently categorizes Women’s Wrestling as an NCAA Emerging Sport, USF will be exploring all options in regards to conference affiliation as the landscape continues to evolve. The NCAA emerging sport designation is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women as well as more sport-sponsorship options for institutions while helping the sport achieve NCAA championship status. Right now there are 16 NCAA schools from Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and Colorado that are sponsoring and competing in Women’s Wrestling in 2022-2023.

The USF’s Men’s Wrestling team will be competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), which currently has nine charter members and one affiliate member competing. NSIC Men’s Wrestling has had six team national championships and 18 individual champions all-time, including 79 All-American honors since 2018.

Wrestling is the seventh most popular men’s high school sport with over 245,000 participants nationwide, according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association; however, there are only 65 NCAA Division II Men’s Wrestling programs. NCAA Division II wrestling is considered an individual sport with 10 different weight classes. Women’s Wrestling is growing and is now an Olympic sport, with over 32,000 young women wrestling in high schools nationally. Currently, there are only 115 collegiate women’s teams across all levels of competition.