New At The U: Utica Adds New Athletic Programs – Gymnastics, Plus Men’s and Women’s Wrestling
They're preparing for some big 'takedowns' at Utica University. However, the news will have some future student athletes doing somersaults on campus, literally.
Everything from takedowns, headlocks and the full-nelson, to back flips, dismounts, tucks and twists are coming to Utica University next year. School officials have announced the athletic department is growing as gymnastics, men's wrestling, and women's wrestling will be added beginning with the 2023-24 school year.
"Gymnastics and wrestling are wonderful compliments to the our existing Olympic sport offerings and both are recognized NCAA Emerging Sports for women," University President Dr. Laura Casamento said in announcing the news.
Utica U is in the process of accepting applications for coaches for each of the three new programs, and those new coaches will be immediately tasked with recruitment of first-year and transfer students, Casamento said, both locally and from across the country.
"There are thousands of high school wrestlers and gymnasts across the country looking for the opportunity to continue to compete on the collegiate level," added Dave Fontaine, Utica's Athletic Director.
Officials expect the additions will grow Utica's total number of student athletes from approximately 700 to 800.
All three programs will be competing at the Division III level. Utica will become one of approximately 80 NCAA schools to offer gymnastics, fewer than 20 of which compete at the D3 level.
Regarding the potential that other athletic programs, namely men's and women's hockey, are accepted for competition in NCAA Division-1 sports, Casamento said it would automatically elevate the remaining D-3 programs to the D-2 level, including these new additions.
The expansion will bring the total number of intercollegiate sports at UU to 29, officials said.