The Northwest NCWA Having an Impact on Wrestling

December 08, 2016 | Dan Payne

The Northwest Conference NCWA Team’s Impact on Wrestling

The recent Spokane Open in Spokane, WA proved the significant impact that the NCWA teams have had during the past five years. There were 9 NCWA teams and over 25% of the total entries from NCWA teams in the Spokane open.  NCWA Division 1 team Grays Harbor finished in the top ten. The northwest region is a vast territory consisting of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon. 

Each year more college coaches are accepting the need for and value of NCWA Programs. Amazingly there are still coaches who refuse to schedule competition with universities that field NCWA teams. It is my hope that over time all the coaches in the west, like those in the Northeast and elsewhere, will grow to appreciate and encourage competition without respect to division.

Since the 1970's college wrestling has lost more than 450 programs until 2001. In 2001 the total number of college wrestling teams bottomed out and from 2001 until 2016 more than 170 teams have been reestablished. The NCWA was founded in 1997 to push back the trend in college wrestling and in the past 20 years more than 130 of the 170 teams have established new varsity programs through the NCWA. I believe that it is easily possible to have twice as many college wrestling programs as we now have in the Western USA. 

Coaches let's find common ground and ways to work together to make College Wrestling great again.