By Bud Focht
Rider Sports Information
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ—Rider University has accepted an invitation to join the Eastern Wrestling League, Rider Director of Athletics Don Harnum announced.
“Rider University and the EWL both have a long history of Division I wrestling success,” said Harnum. “When you combine great wrestling tradition with our geographic compatibility, I am confident this partnership will be beneficial to all involved. We look forward to competing in the EWL next season.”
Current EWL members include Lock Haven University, Clarion University, Bloomsburg University, Edinboro University and Cleveland State University.
The EWL announced that George Mason has also accepted an invitation to join the EWL for 2013-14.
“I am very excited, as is our entire staff, about joining the EWL,” said Rider head coach Gary Taylor, the second most winningest active coach in the NCAA with 390 victories at Rider. “It is with great respect and appreciation that we accepted the invitation from EWL Commissioner Bruce Baumgartner.”
Rider was a member of the Colonial Athletic Association for wrestling since 2002 and placed second in the 2013 CAA Championships with four NCAA qualifiers. The CAA announced recently that it is no longer sponsoring a championship in the sport of wrestling.
The EWL has had seven NCAA individual National Champions since 2001 and in just the last two years produced 10 All-Americans. Edinboro has won 12 EWL Titles and finished 14th at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
“The EWL’s history of success over the years speaks volumes to the fact that they consistently are one of the elite NCAA Division I wrestling conferences in the country,” added Taylor, who has coached 13 All-Americans and 64 individual conference champions at Rider. “Since 1984 the EWL has produced 25 NCAA Champions and hundreds of All-Americans. We look forward to being a part of this prestigious wrestling league and will work hard to contribute to the future success of the EWL.”
Rider was a member of the East Coast Conference and the East Coast Wrestling Association from 1975-2001 and won 13 ECC/ECWA Championships.
Rider has twice served as host for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, in 2011 in Philadelphia, PA and in Albany, NY in 2002.
The Broncs return four NCAA qualifiers and have added three nationally ranked recruits for the 2013-14 season.