Frostburg State Adds Men's and Women's Wrestling, Women's Rugby

Aug 22, 2022 1:30 PM

Frostburg State Director of Athletics Troy Dell has announced the addition of men's and women's wrestling programs, as well as women’s rugby, which will raise the number of sponsored sports at FSU to 25 in the Fall of 2023.
The last sport Frostburg State added was acrobatics & tumbling in 2019. Since adding A&T it has grown from an NCAA emerging sport with 30 teams competing to having the 46th institution announce the addition of the sport earlier this year.
The Bobcats originally added a men's wrestling program in the 1962-1963 season. Currently the Mountain East Conference has seven member institutions with men's wrestling. FSU will join Alderson Broaddus as the second MEC school to add women's wrestling. There are currently 23 NCAA Division II schools that offer women's wrestling.

"We are excited to announce the addition of Men's and Women's Wrestling to our sport offerings," said Dell. "The growth of women's wrestling over the last decade has spurred us to make the decision to offer this sport for both genders on our campus. Women's wrestling provides us the opportunity to continue our sports offering for females, while supporting the NCAA Emerging Sports Program and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Title IX." 

"The return of Men's Wrestling to Frostburg State University after a long absence is very exciting. The sport of wrestling continues to grow at every level for both men and women. We receive regular and ongoing inquiries regarding the sport of wrestling, so we know there is interest throughout Maryland and the surrounding region for this sport. In addition, adding two sports that utilize many of the same resources is a sound financial and enrollment strategy that will help our university meet the changing landscape of college demographics." - Troy Dell
FSU has consulted with the National Wrestling Coaches Association to better understand the current landscape of the growing sports and how it could be beneficial to add the programs.
"I know I speak on behalf of our NWCA Board of Directors when I congratulate the administration at Frostburg State for their efforts to be the FIRST to add an intercollegiate men's and women's wrestling program in Maryland.  It's pioneering efforts like this that create so many opportunities for young, aspiring men and women to pursue their academic and wrestling careers at the intercollegiate level."  Mike Moyer, NWCA Executive Director   
According to the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association, there are currently 28 schools currently competing in the sport. Nine of those schools compete at the Division II level, including Notre Dame (Ohio) and Alderson Broaddus, as the only current MEC schools that offer women's rugby.

"We are excited to be able to continue the university's commitment to growing opportunities that create greater equity across our department and intercollegiate athletics overall", said Dell. "We have truly enjoyed the process of supporting the NCAA Emerging Sports program through the addition of Acrobatics & Tumbling. Women's Rugby gives us the opportunity to continue our support of female student-athletes on our campus. The alignment of the addition of Women's Rugby with the 50th Anniversary of Title IX makes this announcement even more special for our university."

While designated as an emerging sport, the NIRA oversees women's rugby programs while awaiting official NCAA status, similar to the NCATA in acrobatics & tumbling. More information can be found at the NIRA web site. The season for women's rugby is played in the Fall and the primary format is 15-woman rugby.
"The NIRA is thrilled that Frostburg State University has elected to add women's rugby as its 25th varsity sport.  Bobcat Women's Rugby will mark a significant milestone as the 30th NCAA varsity program to take the field in the fall of 2023. We look forward to working with AD Troy Dell and his staff in the coming months as Frostburg builds out and staffs their new program and engages in the NIRA membership process." Amy Rusert, NIRA Commissioner
This will be the third emerging sport FSU has added since making the transition to Division II. Acrobatics & Tumbling has recently hit the 46-team mark, while both women's wrestling and women's rugby continue to grow their number of programs offered.

Frostburg will immediately begin a national search for coaches to lead each of the new programs.  

For more information, visit the FSU Athletics web site.