Tony Gonzales, Head Coach
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance College has announced that it will begin offering club wrestling to provide an opportunity for wrestlers to continue their sport after high school. The club will compete in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s North Central Conference, an association which supports more than 150 men's and women's club wrestling teams in colleges across the nation.
“It is thanks to the generosity, hard work and commitment of many wrestling alumni that wrestling is now able to come back to campus,” said Mark Gordon, DC president. “We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity for students who wish to continue their wrestling careers.”
The NCWA uses the same weight classes, rules and officials as the NCAA, so students will see little difference at the club level. The wrestling club plans to participate in the 2011-12 season with a partial schedule.
“Offering a wrestling club for our students enhances the broad array of co-curricular opportunities available to our students. It will be exciting to see our students exhibiting their characteristic dedication and school spirit in this new activity,” said Ken Wetstein, vice president for student engagement and dean of students.
Tony Gonzales has been hired as head coach. A Paulding native, Gonzales wrestled in high school, competed in NCAA Division III wrestling at Heidelberg University, and was a two-time runner up at the Amateur Athletic Union National Championships. He has coached wrestling for nine years, most recently at 3D Wrestling formerly known as Paulding Wrestling Club.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to take this program from the ground-up,” said Gonzales. “This will offer an exciting experience for the students interested in wrestling in collegiate competitions.”
Defiance’s wrestling team began in 1965 as a student organization. It eventually gained varsity status in 1976 and continued until 1994. Alumni of the program approached President Gordon two years ago and expressed a willingness to raise funds to bring wrestling back to DC. The success of the campaign has made the return of wrestling possible.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
November 4, 2011