Bellarmine to begin men's wrestling team

06/14/2016 03:05 PM

Bellarmine University Athletics has announced the creation of a men’s wrestling program, which will begin this fall.

The program will be the only NCAA II wrestling program in the state and is being absorbed from Saint Catharine College, which announced last week it would be closing in July due to financial struggles.

Last season, St. Catharine competed at the NAIA level in wrestling with 41 team members. Head Coach Spencer Adams and Assistant Coach Gary Canter will remain coaches at Bellarmine, and all former SCC team members wishing to transfer will be retained as well. In addition, Bellarmine will honor the commitment to all of the St. Catharine signees for the 2016-17 season, provided they meet Bellarmine admission standards.

“On behalf of myself, my coaching staff, our SCC student athletes, and their families I want to sincerely thank the board of trustees, president Tegart, Scott Wiegandt, and the entire Bellarmine University family for all that they have done to save our program,” Adams said in a press release. “I am ecstatic to start this new journey and bring the great sport of wrestling to Bellarmine University.

In St. Catharine’s first two seasons, the Patriots finished 39th (2015) and 31st (2016) in the NAIA National Championship. The squad also was honored with the NAIA’s prestigious “Champions of Character” team award in 2015-16.

Bellarmine’s new wrestling program will become the school’s 22nd NCAA team.

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