Southern Nevada Adds Wrestling for 2012-13 Season
DALLAS – As Steve Hart tells the story, he was listening in on a conversation some of his former high school wrestlers were having when their communal reminiscing about the just-passed season turned into looking ahead.
A few of the wrestlers on that Liberty High School team in Henderson, Nevada, had not closed their season as well as they had hoped, he said. They began to throw out ideas of how to continue their careers, yearning for better results the next time out.
“I can help with that,” Hart said.
At that moment, unofficially, the College of Southern Nevada and the National Collegiate Wrestling Association had its newest team. Officially, the Coyotes, already a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association in baseball and softball, begin their inaugural NCWA season this fall with grand plans in tow.
“Several of the wrestlers planned to go to CSN this fall, and they wanted to keep wrestling. It fit,” said Hart, who will be CSN’s head coach but no longer coaches at Liberty. Hart is a former assistant coach at the University of Oregon, and more recently coached NCWA programs at the University of Colorado and Red Rocks Community College (Colo.), also serving as the NCWA’s Southwest Conference commissioner.
He wrestled to All-American status in Washington as a prep.
“I’m a big supporter of the NCWA and what it means to wrestling,” Hart said. “It’s the first time CSN has had a wrestling program of any sort on campus, and its Student Senate voted unanimously to endorse and sponsor the program.”
With the school’s support in-hand through its Intramural Sports and Wellness Department, CSN could quickly grow into NCWA Division I membership following its probationary first season. CSN has three branch campuses in the Las Vegas area, and along with its online course offerings, could provide Hart a pool of up to 44,000 students to draw from to form his first team and beyond.
For now, 10-12 freshmen already enrolled on Hart’s roster will suffice as the school year begins. Jordan Joseph and Kory Koryakos, teammates last year at Liberty, have already stepped forward as the program’s compliance and team president, respectively. Active student-athlete participation in the program’s administration is a key element of NCWA membership.
“Our vision is being a full-blown program and building it as far as we can take it,” Hart said. “Give us a sponsor or two, and there’s no limit to what we can do.”