THE growing popularity of women’s collegiate wrestling is coming to Adams State in time for the fall semester of 2023. Adams State Athletic Director Katelyn Smith announced Thursday that the Grizzlies will be adding wrestling for the next academic year.

The recruiting can now begin. Adams State would be the 48th NCAA Division II women’s wrestling program and joins Colorado Mesa and Chadron State College as schools in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with a women’s wrestling program.

“We are ecstatic to make this announcement of the addition of Women’s Wrestling,” said Smith. “When looking at our department, it just makes sense and we know with the rate of growth for women’s wrestling, we are making the right decision to add it to our programs.”

Women’s wrestling replaces women’s lacrosse on the roster of women’s sports offered at Adams State. The Grizzlies announced the end of the women’s lacrosse program last spring.

Adams State will begin a search for a head coach, Smith said. “We are excited and are eager to build off the successes of our top ranked and nationally recognized men’s wrestling program,” said Smith. “The goal, and standard, will be to have similar success with women’s wrestling.”

Wrestling has long been a mainstay at Adams State going back to when Alamosa and Adams State hosted the first-ever U.S. Olympic Wrestling tryouts in 1968. It was then that the NCAA Hall-of-Famer and legendary Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable first arrived in Alamosa as part of the initial group of eager young wrestlers looking to earn their way onto the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team.

Since those days, Adams State has found consistent success on the wrestling mat, including crowning three individual national champions a year ago in the NCAA Division II Men’s Wrestling Championship.

The NCAA considers women’s wrestling an “emerging sport.” It’s now emerged at Adams State