Jan. 12, 2010
Rome, Ga. - The moment thousands of eager individuals across the country have been waiting for has finally arrived.
Shorter College has officially hired a head wrestling coach.
On Thursday, Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m., the College will introduce its first-ever head wrestling coach to the community - not just an excited Rome population, but also an incredibly close-knit wrestling community that stretches nationwide and is ready to welcome Georgia's only collegiate, four-year varsity wrestling program with open arms.
The announcement will take place at a press conference in the Austin Moses Room, located on the main floor of the Sheffield-Thompson building on Shorter's campus.
This decision has been anticipated for months - ever since Shorter announced the formation of a program in late October - and hiring of a head coach was the first step in what promises to be an exciting several months of preparation with the Hawks set to hit the mats for the first time next fall.
"We could not have asked for a better response from the wrestling community," said Shorter Sports Information Director Matt Green, who chaired the search committee that sifted through over 50 applications that came in during a two-week acceptance period.
"Everyone from the people at the National Wrestling Coaches Association to former and current college and high school head coaches to local wrestling enthusiasts - everyone wanted to lend a helping hand. With that kind of support for our new program, I have only the highest of hopes as we move forward and begin competition next fall."
Shorter will compete in the Mid-South Conference - a league familiar to Hawk football and track fans - which includes already established programs Campbellsville University, Cumberland University (Tenn.), University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), Lindsey Wilson College and West Virginia Tech.
The Mid-South unanimously voted to add wrestling as its 18th sport in June of 2009, speaking to the potential growth of a once widespread sport that has been crippled at many large schools in recent years due to budget cuts.
While Alabama, Georgia and Florida combine to have over 700 high school wrestling programs, none of those states boast a collegiate wrestling program - that is until Shorter made its announcement in mid-fall.
"We have a great window of opportunity to provide a wrestling home for prep athletes in those states," said Shorter Director of Athletics Bill Peterson. "Allowing local and regional talent to stay close to home provides a platform for our young athletes who previously had nowhere to go to showcase their talents on a national stage at the collegiate level."
For those who can attend the press conference, it will be an opportunity to not only meet Shorter's newest head coach, but also provide a chance to ask questions about a sport that is sure to bring an added level of excitement to campus.
Also set to be introduced is Shorter's new head men's lacrosse coach, Nathan Young, who is already starting to build the Hawks' new lacrosse program that is set to begin competition in the spring of 2011.
For more information on Thursday morning's press conference, please contact Matt Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.