Oklahoma City University adds volleyball and wrestling to varsity sports

By Rich Tortorelli | Jan. 09, 2006, 2:31 p.m. (ET)
JAN. 7, 2006

Contact: Rich Tortorelli
Sports Information Director
(405) 208-5304 or rtortorelli@okcu.edu

Oklahoma City University to add volleyball and wrestling

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City University will add volleyball and wrestling as varsity sports to compete in 2006-07, OCU athletic director Jim Abbott announced.
Abbott said that volleyball and wrestling were natural additions to the university given the fan and recruiting base in Oklahoma.

In volleyball, OCU will revive the sport on campus. OCU last competed in volleyball in 1984 under coach Liz Donnelly, currently OCU's Dean of Students. OCU has never had a wrestling program.

"There's a large number of outstanding student-athletes right here in Oklahoma," Abbott said. "Volleyball and wrestling are important sports in our region."

Abbott said he will begin a search for coaches immediately.

"Finding the right coaches will be a priority for us," Abbott said. "We will be eager to get them to work building these programs."

Scholarships will be available.

With the new programs, OCU will have 12 varsity athletic teams. OCU has won 26 NAIA championships. The Stars won the baseball and women's golf national championships last year. OCU most recently added men's and women's rowing as varsity programs in 2004.

"It is unrealistic to expect we can immediately compete on a national level, but expectations at OCU are generally high," Abbott said. "We have achieved a level of success across the board, and ultimately we would hope to attain that level in volleyball and wrestling."

OCU is a NAIA school and will be participating in the NAIA National Championships.

Coaches wishing to apply may visit http://www.okcu.edu/hr/jobs.asp.

Founded in 1904, Oklahoma City University is a non-profit, comprehensive, private United Methodist university that is consistently ranked among the best in its category by several publications. Our students pursue academic excellence through a rigorous liberal arts core curriculum that focuses on their intellectual, moral, and spiritual development. The culturally rich campus is located near downtown Oklahoma City, with operations in Tulsa, Okla., Canada and Eastern Asia. For more information, visit the Web site at www.okcu.edu.