Fresno State to add wrestling, women's water polo

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Fresno State to add wrestling, women's water polo
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The Fresno State Department of Athletics said it will start looking for head coaches for both programs.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno State Department of Athletics said it will start looking for head coaches for both programs.

Fresno State announced on Tuesday it will be adding wrestling and women's water polo as NCAA Division I sanctioned sports under the Department of Athletics' umbrella.

"We are really excited to add women's water polo and wrestling, providing young men and women the opportunity right here in the heart of the Valley to continue playing the sport that they love while getting their education close to home," Director of Athletics Jim Bartko said. "Wrestling has such a rich tradition here in the Valley and water polo makes perfect sense in the footprint of our Athletics structure and with our premiere Aquatics venue. We look forward to incorporating these two sports into our University community while remaining focused on our continued commitment to gender equity and Title IX."

The university said it has raised enough money to support both programs for the first three seasons.

"The generous support from the wrestling community, the tremendous support we receive from the University and our fundraising efforts is what made these additions possible," Bartko added. "It was very important to us to incorporate these sports the right way to set them up for success, and we feel that we have done just that."

Fresno State's previous wrestling program ended in 2006. Fresno State said President Joseph I. Castro has been working to get the program back.

"I am ecstatic that we are officially moving forward with reinstating wrestling and adding women's water polo. We have taken the time to adequately prepare for the new programs and to do the fundraising necessary for them to succeed," said Castro. "It's a bold move to add two new sports, but they will provide great opportunities for student-athletes at Fresno State and tremendous enjoyment by Bulldog fans throughout the Valley and beyond. This is additional evidence that our academic and athletics programs are rising together."

The wrestling program, which will compete in the Save Mart Center, will have coaches' offices, a locker room and a mat room in the North Gym.

The women's water polo program will hold competitions in the Aquatics Center, which will also house the coaches' offices. The team's locker room will be located in the North Gym Annex, which is next to the Aquatics Center.