Courtesy of Jarvis Sports Information

HAWKINS, Texas – Texas HBCU Jarvis Christian University athletic director Bobby Ladner announced the addition of a men’s and women’s wrestling program as part of an expansion of the JCU’s athletic department.

The wrestling program is one of the first established at an HBCU institution. JCU is also only the fifth college in Texas to add sports. JCU joins fellow NAIA members Wayland Baptist University and Texas Wesleyan University competing in the state. Schreiner University and Texas Woman’s University compete at the NCAA level.

JCU will join the Sooner Athletic Conference for wrestling since the Red River Athletic Conference does not sponsor the sport. JCU will join Oklahoma City University, Texas Wesleyan, Wayland Baptist, Central Christian College and Arkansas Baptist College in competing on the men’s side. On the women’s side, JCU will join Texas Wesleyan, Wayland Baptist, Oklahoma City, Central Christian, Lyon College and Missouri Baptist University.

As one of the few HBCU institutions with a wrestling program, Ladner believes JCU has an opportunity to grow the sport.

“We’re thrilled to be one of the first HBCUs to add a wrestling program,” Ladner said. “What we are doing here at Jarvis can serve as an example to other HBCU athletic departments across the country. Our men’s and women’s wrestling programs will bring additional visibility to the school while bringing diverse groups of athletes to compete.

The men’s and women’s teams will bring new athletes to the varsity and athletic department. The addition of the wrestling program also demonstrates the administration’s commitment to athletics and the overall growth of JCU.

“Wrestling, one of the oldest sports in the world, is Jarvis Christian University’s newest athletic sport,” said JCU President Dr. Lester Newman. “It is always exciting to launch a new athletic program, especially at this time, as JCU will be a rare four-year HBCU offering the sport. Adding the sport to our program will give student-athletes additional opportunities to compete, while getting a great education. Under a new coach, we are really looking forward to a great season!

The competition will begin this fall. The head coach for the men’s and women’s programs will be announced shortly.

HBCU wrestling returns to Texas

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