UTICA, N.Y. — Utica University is adding three new sports to its roster — women’s gymnastics, men’s wrestling, and women’s wrestling — and expects the additions to boost enrollment.
The sports, announced by President Laura Casamento and Director of Athletics Dave Fontaine, join the university’s slate of NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, bringing the total number to 29.
The three winter-season sports will begin play for the 2023-2024 season. The university is already seeking coaches, and once hired, the coaches will begin recruiting for first-year and transfer student athletes.
The new sports fill a void for the thousands of high school wrestlers and gymnasts across the country looking for the chance to continue to compete on the collegiate level, according to Fontaine. “Utica athletics will now be able to offer that opportunity,” he said. “With the addition of men’s and women’s wrestling and women’s gymnastics, our total number of student athletes will be close to 800. This is truly an exciting time for Utica University and our athletic department.”
Expanding the intercollegiate sports offerings is an integral part of the university’s strategic enrollment growth plan, Jeffery Gates, senior VP for enrollment, said. He expects the new sports will add about 60 new students next fall.
“Gymnastics and wrestling are wonderful complements to our existing Olympic sport offerings, and both are recognized NCAA emerging sports for women,” Casamento said. “With the growing popularity of these sports, both in our region and across the state and country, we are excited to expand opportunities for athletes to compete at the college level.”
Founded in 1946, Utica University offers bachelor’s master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university currently enrolls about 3,300 undergraduate students and 1,300 graduate students. The school operates satellite locations within New York as well as Florida.