For the first time in more than 30 years, Fairmont State University will offer wrestling as part of its intercollegiate athletics program beginning in the fall of 2019.
“I am excited to welcome wrestling back home to the Falcon Nation as our 17th sport,” said Dr. Mirta M. Martin, President at Fairmont State University. “This region has an abundance of talented student-athletes who wrestle, and adding wrestling allows Fairmont State to give these hard-working students access to a quality higher education.
“Adding wrestling also gives us one more activity through which we can share with the world how Fairmont State transforms passion and effort into excellence,” Dr. Martin added.
The program is set to begin competition during the 2019-20 athletics season as a member of NCAA Division II and the Mountain East Conference. The search for Fairmont State’s head wrestling coach will begin immediately.
Wrestling will return to Fairmont State University for the first time since the 1982-83 season.
“We are extremely excited to bring the wrestling program back to Fairmont State University and the Fairmont community,” said Director of Athletics Chad Fowler. “In my six years as a member of the athletics administration at Fairmont State, we have received plenty of community and alumni support to bring the program back and today is a very special day for the entire community.
“Our 16 athletics programs have made great strides on a conference, regional and national level the past six years and we are looking forward to building a successful wrestling program that will compete for championships at all three levels.”
Before the wrestling program ended in the early 1980’s, Fairmont State wrestling was highly successful as a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NAIA. In fact, Fairmont State won eight WVIAC Wrestling Championships from 1962-1976.
There are also six wrestling standouts that have been inducted into the Fairmont State Athletics Hall of Fame, including Bruce Hinkle – who became the first-ever individual national champion at Fairmont State in the sport of wrestling. In addition, Rodney Baird, Mike Kirby and Gary Moyer each finished with top 5 finishes at the NAIA National Championships as Fairmont State wrestling standouts.
The Mountain East Conference will be hosting its first-ever conference championship in the sport of wrestling during the 2019-20 athletic season, which will be Fairmont State’s first year of competition.