Doane College will add wrestling and bowling teams to its list of intercollegiate athletics for the 2013-14 sports season.
The addition of the new programs supports the college’s strategic plan for growing Doane to 2,000 students over the next ten years.
Doane College has seen record numbers in enrollment over the past three years, and the addition of the new programs can help push the college forward in student growth according to President Jacque Carter.
“These athletic programs will support the college’s strategic plan for incremental, managed growth in the School of Arts and Sciences to 2,000 students over the next 10 years,” Carter said. “This growth will ensure Doane not only survives but prospers when other colleges and universities may fail.”
Doane will be the second private liberal arts and sciences college in the Neb. to offer bowling and wrestling as intercollegiate sports. Midland University added bowling and wrestling in 2010.
Senior Kevin Roehrich said he’s excited for the opportunity the new programs will provide future students.
“I think it is a good addition for the college, especially if they want to increase the enrollment numbers,” Roehrich said. “With only 40 some schools in the NAIA having wrestling, it will be a useful recruiting tool and there will be a great opportunity for success.”
Nationwide, only 41 schools in the NAIA offer wrestling and 40 offer men’s or women’s bowling.
The wrestling team (men) will consist of more than 20 athletes and the bowling team (men and women) will have eight athletes on each gender specific team. A search for head coaches is currently underway.
Doane Athletic Director Greg Heier said there were few schools that offer both bowling and wrestling as competitive intercollegiate sports, and this would give more students the opportunity to continue their success at the collegiate level.
“We are excited to offer them the chance to play on a competitive team at a college where they can also excel in an academically challenging environment,” Heier said.
Junior Kameron Lenhart said he thought the new programs will expand Doane’s student base.
“I think if Doane gets out there, it could definitely get good recruits and be competitive,” Lenhart said. “The fact that Doane is such a good school and the fact that it’s getting wrestling, it’s going to open up the school to a new type of student.”