Why college wrestling is healthier than it's been in decades
October 24, 2019


Mike Moyer was rattling off facts and figures about college wrestling’s two-decade reversal when a fill-in-the-blank question made him stop for a second to reflect.

College wrestling is as healthy as it’s been since ___?

“I’d say probably 1975,” the executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association said. “That’s when we really started getting clobbered.”

Wrestling statistics from that era are difficult to find and it’s hard to pin down the exact number of Division I programs that existed then. But college wrestling programs started dying off during the late-1970s and there were 136 Division I programs left in 1985.

Now there’s 79, though the figure has been creeping upward in recent years and appears on the verge of a bigger hike.