Carl Albert State College will begin offering wrestling programs next school year after a unanimous Board of Regents approval Tuesday. The men’s program will begin in 2021-22 and a women’s program is set to begin the following season.
The vote makes Carl Albert only the second junior college in Oklahoma to have a men’s program. The other wrestling program is at Northeastern Oklahoma State University. There are currently no JC women’s programs. CASC President Jay Falkner said Wednesday that “it’s really kind of neat that we may offer the first women’s wrestling program in the state.”
“We’re always looking for new ways to be innovative,” he said, “and find opportunities for our student body and our community. This idea was not one we had planned on, but it came along at just the right time, and with just the right folks.”
Falkner lauded the grass-roots effort that led to the historic program. “People have rallied behind this concept,” he said. “Folks in the community have donated money and equipment and there is a lot of interest here in Oklahoma and even in western Arkansas.”
The women’s program is a great opportunity to enhance inclusion on CASC’s campuses, Falkner said. “I’m very excited and very proud” to offer the emerging sport to Carl Albert’s female students.
Falkner noted that the school’s Poteau campus already has a facility for its wrestling matches -- the basketball gym. He said donations of equipment are welcome.
Falkner said CASC staff is working on scholarships and hiring coaches for the two-year programs. “We plan to have the coaching position posted by Friday. We want that filled immediately,” he said.
“This will be a shining light for Carl Albert State College,” Falkner said. ‘It’s so important to the student body and it will be a huge economic driver for the community.”
He added, “We have the potential to host tournaments from all over the United States, and we’ll have campus events and youth leagues. As for the community, we will have people coming in from all over to attend these events and spending money here.”
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit www.kxmx.com