Wrestling Draws 39 Students to Campus

Posted by Paula Paine on September 10, 2014 in "Brandy Green", "Coach Andres", ezflex, "Kevin Andres", "Randy Hinderliter", "right fit", "U.S. Wrestling Foundation", wrestling, "Wrestling Foundation" Since the approval of men’s and women’s wrestling in the fall of 2013, Head Wrestling Coach Kevin Andres has been feverishly recruiting wrestlers from across the country to join the start-up programs. His efforts have secured a total of 39 new wrestlers from seven states for the 2014-15 academic year, with the first home matches scheduled for November 1. Andres wants a packed house for the historic opening event.
“We are so excited about the level of energy these new programs are generating, both at OU and in the conference,” says Andres. “The season can’t start soon enough for me and the wrestlers, and I want to encourage everyone to come out in support of the new wrestling programs and the student-athletes who are initiating them. I’d love to see standing room only at our opening meet on November 1 in Wilson Field House.”
Andres believes that Ottawa University has a lot to offer the new wrestling recruits but stresses that “academics first” is always his emphasis when showcasing the school. “Wrestling needs to be the icing on the cake for these students,” he says. “The most important thing is that OU is the right fit for them in terms of academic programming, the campus, faculty, our mission, and financial aid, as well as my coaching style and philosophy.”
Once students determine that OU is right for them, however, Andres believes the wrestling program easily provides the “icing.” “Since we are a new program, these students have an opportunity to contribute right out of the gate,” he explains. “We also have one of the best practice facilities around, and this program provides our women wrestlers the opportunity to compete in the first and only four-year program in the state of Kansas.” 
Of the 13 women’s meets scheduled for the season, four will be at home and three will be at national level tournaments. The men’s team will compete in 16 meets, with six being at home. Assisting Coach Andres is volunteer assistant coach Randy Hinderliter and graduate assistant Brandy Green.
“We have some great talent on both the men’s and women’s teams,” says Andres, “and I can’t wait to see us put the product on the mat. This is the next level of competition for these athletes, and it will be exciting to see how they perform. I’m sure we will have some highs and some lows, but my goal in this inaugural season is to make sure that the highs outweigh the lows. I believe our fans will help make that happen.”
The wrestling program was boosted early on by a $5,000 start-up grant from the U.S. Wrestling Foundation, which recognizes the value of adding men's and women's wrestling in a state with relatively few collegiate wrestling options. EXFlex Sports Mats provided additional support for the program by donating mats and other equipment for the new practice facility.
A variety of equipment is still needed for the program. If you would like to help with this capital expenditure, please contact VP for University Advancement Paul Bean at 785-248-2330 or paul.bean@ottawa.edu.