ODU shuts down its wrestling program

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Old Dominion Monarchs wrestling program has been shut down, the school announced on Thursday. This program will discontinue as a sport immediately at the school.

Those, who are presently under contract, will be able to retain their scholarships through the end of their fourth academic year should they remain at the school. However, students are immediately eligible to transfer to another school.

College Wrestlers
College Wrestlers (Photo by Pixabay)

Incoming freshman will be able to keep their scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year should they elect to remain at the school even though the program has stopped. There are currently 32 members of the program, who have been impacted by this decision, including seven seniors.

“We are saddened to have to make this decision, but it’s one that was made with the long-term best interest of the athletics program in mind,” Director of Athletics Dr. Camden Wood Selig said. “No one wants to reduce opportunities for young men to compete and represent Old Dominion, but we are required to be responsible with departmental resources. Our decision became even more clear during this coronavirus crisis, which we know will have significant impact on future athletics budgets.

“This decision will better allow the remaining sports to compete at a national level.”

Steve Martin, the leader of the program for the last 16-years, will be allowed to stay on for a limited time, as he helps the current competitors and the incoming recruits transition.

Martin coached the program for 172 dual meet wins. This tied the record by former coach Peter Robinson, which was the program’s first coach.

I would like to thank President Broderick and Wood Selig for the support of the wrestling program over my 16-year career at ODU,” said Martin. “I understand these are challenging times for everyone, not only in athletics, but in every walk of life. I care a great deal about the student-athletes and coaches in the wrestling program at ODU, and I’m committed to work with each one of them to assist them during this transition.

“I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish over my tenure in the wrestling program, on the mat, but more importantly, off the mat as we were able to use the sport of wrestling to propel many young men into distinguished professional careers.” 

This past season, Martin guided the program to a 10-9 record. They were also 6-2 in conference play and ended their season on a four-meet win streak.

While the team struggled at home, they were 5-1 on the road. They were 5-8 at home and neutral site meets.

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