By Patrick Cooley, Sports Editor
It seems the UNO Wrestling team may be resurrected after all. This time in suburban St. Louis.
UNO coaches and wrestlers made a visit last week to Maryville University, a Division II school located in Town and County, a St. Louis suburb, to discuss the possibility of starting a wrestling program, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The source, who works within the University’s Athletic Department, said UNO players and coaches were greeted by cheerleaders at an area hotel. He anticipates an official announcement soon.
James Reynolds, a graduate assistant on the UNO wrestling team who spearheaded the team’s efforts to fight elimination at UNO this past year, said that the two sides are “working on stuff,” but nothing more could be said at the time. Reynolds said he would be able to say more when a press release is made available by Maryville. No time line was given.
Maryville doesn’t currently have a wrestling program and is in the process of hiring a new athletic director. A job description for the athletic director position states that the university is “seeking a dynamic and collaborative athletic director to lead the athletics department during a period of growth and expansion.”
The unnamed source questioned the school’s ability to add a new program especially given turnover in the athletic department and the school’s financial situation. Former Athletic Director Tony Duckworth resigned last month.
Maryville, with its 3,700 undergraduates, is also in its final year of transition to Division II athletics and is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, which, according to the job posting, is “the nation’s premier Division II conference.” The conference does not currently sponsor wrestling and it is unclear what conference the potential new program would wrestle in.