N.J.'s first women's college wrestling program announces launch date; new men's team too – NJ.com

New Jersey City University will start men’s and women’s wrestling programs later this year, the school announced Wednesday.

The Jersey City school, which competes at the Division-3 level, will first wrestle with club programs for the 2019-20 school year before reaching full varsity status in the fall of 2020. The women’s program will be the first at a New Jersey college and comes in the wake of the successful first season of girls wrestling as an NJSIAA-sponsored sport.

“We are excited to make these historic additions to our intercollegiate athletics program,” NJCU athletics director Shawn Tucker, a former Rutgers football player and administrator, said in a release. “As our institution continues to grow and our athletic department continues to expand, wrestling is the ideal program to carry the banner for this new era in NJCU athletics. We firmly believe men’s and women’s wrestling are sports that naturally fit our campus. We believe the addition of both programs will generate excitement on campus and our entire university community will rally around both sports.”

NJCU will have separate head coaches for the program, according to its release. A national search is underway to fill both positions. NJCU will be the Garden State’s fourth Division-3 men’s wrestling program, joining Centenary, Stevens and TCNJ. The women’s team is scheduled to become the 11th Division-3 program nationally.

“The sport continues to grow at the college level and this is just a tremendous step to continue that growth,” Rutgers coach Scott Goodale said in the release. “Women’s wrestling is thriving at the high school level and it’s great to have it move to the college level in this sport. Any time we add a program, both men’s and women’s, it’s a great day for our sport. Today is a great day.”

James Kratch may be reached at jkratch@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.

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