March 3, 2012 — Life University (LIFE) continues to expand to its intercollegiate sports program with men’s wrestling. The announcement was made official last week. LIFE already has athletic scholarship opportunities for men in basketball and rugby, as well as for women in cross country and volleyball.
In launching wrestling, LIFE becomes only the third university in the state of Georgia to offer the sport on a varsity level, and the only university in the metro Atlanta area.
Helping launch the program is Team Georgia Wrestling, a non-profit organization dedicated to promotion and expansion of the sport throughout the state. Team Georgia donated $10,000 to the LIFE Wrestling Team which will provide much needed assistance with equipment and infrastructure.
“We selected wrestling because it’s an emerging sport,” said John Barrett, director of athletics at Life University. “LIFE is an emerging sports program right now, and we’re excited to be on the ground floor of wrestling in Georgia.” Wrestling requires incredible fitness and discipline, something LIFE students know well.
Said Barrett, “As a health conscious university, wrestling makes perfect sense when you consider the study and health habits of our student body.”
Barrett, along with Associate Athletics Director Bill Firnbach and Life University President Dr. Guy Riekeman attended a check ceremony with representatives from Team Georgia Wrestling, during the 2012 Georgia High School State Wrestling Championships held at the Gwinnett Arena over the weekend (photo enclosed).
Anthony Flatt, President of Team Georgia Wrestling attended the ceremony, and said, “This is great for Life University, and great for wrestling in Georgia. Until now, there was no college wrestling in the metro Atlanta area.”
Atlanta produces some outstanding wrestlers who, up until now, have had to look outside the state for opportunities at the next level. Said Flatt, “Now these kids have the opportunity to stay at home, get their degree from a fine institution, and continue to wrestle. It also as the potential for the wrestlers to stay near home and help out at their high schools, and thereby improve wrestling at the high school level.”
Ron Domanico, chief financial officer at Team Georgia echoes Flatt’s sentiments,
saying, “We have 6,500 youth wrestlers and 8,000 high school wrestlers in Georgia with very limited opportunities beyond high school. Without college wrestling nearby, many of these kids’ careers end after high school, but not anymore. It’s good to have college wrestling back in Georgia.”
Life University will commence its inaugural season in late-fall of 2012. LIFE is in the process of hiring a head coach right now and expects to make an announcement later in the spring.
Source: Life University, life.edu