Lynchburg adds wrestling program

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- University of Lynchburg Director of Athletics Jon Waters announced the addition of men's wrestling which will compete as an NCAA varsity sport during the 2025-26 academic year.

"We are excited to offer men's wrestling here at Lynchburg," Waters said. "Wrestling has grown dramatically with the addition of several ODAC programs in recent years and continues to thrive in many of the geographic areas where we are actively recruiting students."

The Hornets will compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference along with seven other schools in 2025-26. Roanoke, Washington and Lee, Averett, Ferrum, and Shenandoah sponsor the sport along with Southern Virginia and Greensboro as associate members.

Lynchburg opened its nationwide search for a head wrestling coach immediately.

The new program will operate out of Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg, Va., just a few minutes from Lynchburg's campus. The space features a newly enclosed 12,000-square-foot facility dedicated to the Lynchburg wrestling program, complete with locker rooms and a strength and conditioning area.

"The opportunity to partner with Crosswhite on a high quality space to facilitate our program gives us a great opportunity to be successful," Waters said.

Men's wrestling will be Lynchburg's 26th intercollegiate sport and the sixth addition to the athletic department in the last five years. Lynchburg added men's and women's swimming in 2018 and women's golf in 2019. Beach volleyball completed its second season in 2024, and the men's volleyball program starts up January 2025.

Lynchburg has a history of wrestling on campus thanks to hall of fame athletic director, coach, and teacher Dr. James C. Fox. He brought wrestling to campus in the 1960s and coached until 1984. The Hornets won the ODAC championship in 1980, and Fox was a three-time ODAC coach of the year in the sport. Lynchburg produced 11 individual ODAC champions during its time in the league from 1976-80. The ODAC dropped the sport in 1980, and Lynchburg lost its wrestling program five years later. The ODAC began sponsoring the sport again ahead of the 2022-23 school year and has already seen nine ODAC athletes earn All-America honors since then.

Lynchburg's future wrestlers will become part of one of the best athletic departments in the country. Lynchburg placed 19th in the LEARFIELD Directors' Cup standings after the 2023-24 season.