There have been degrading relationships between NIC head coach Pat Whitcomb and NIC AD Al Williams for a while. Thus has lead to a push by Al to move wrestling to the NWAC. At Highline coach Norton has done a great job but has had a couple of snafus that have lead in the past to HC being on NJCAA probation. The problem we are facing is multi faceted.
Club coaches claim it saves the school money. This is false. We essentially go to the same events. Our fees to the NJCAA are very reasonable and are based on student enrollment at the college. CCC, SWOCC, and I have offered to pool mine together to pay Grays Hatbors NJCAA fee. Kids going to a club school do not have to be enrolled full time. This makes a mockery of the student athlete model.
All sports are part of the NWAC in the northwest juco scene except wrestling. There are 35-40 schools with volleyball and basketball. It makes sense to do that. But wrestling there are the 3 Oregon Scools, Highline and NIC in juco. Grays, Big Bend, CBC, and Treasure Valley are all NWAC schools but compete in club. That could make a strong 9 team region allowing more national qualifiers and giving more kids opportunities to be seen on a national stage. This should be a priority for our high school coaches to get kids exposed. Stop sending your kids to club teams.
When a program adds to the NJCAA you must sit a one year post season ban. We elected to do this in our inaugural year last year. Smartest time to do it when your program will be weakest. Big Bend, CBC, and Treasure Valley did not. We dialed Grays last year and lost twice. We dialed them twice this year and won both duals. My retention rates are better, accountability is better, and the quality of wrestler I can receive is better. Success breads success. I can recruit a kid and tell them they will compete in the toughest junior college region in the nation. I have great respect for coach Rhoden, Coach Whitlatch, Coach Norton, and Coach Whitcomb. These guys have put in years of hard work and I hope one day my program emulates theirs.
I want to recruit in the national scene. Bring in kids from outside our local area. We can not do this in NWACís. This helps funnel our D1 and NAIA programs. I wrestled for SOU in the early 2000ís. We acquired 6 kids who were a part of PLU when it was dropped. All 6 were impact wrestlers. Coach Rhoden left PLU and went to Pacific where he had great success. We went to programs that had expectations. We were students and athletes. And we came from areas that were not close to the colleges we attended.
School presidents see adding wrestling as an enrollment initiative. At UCC we have added 9 sports in the last two seasons. My required roster is 35. If I can only recruit Oregon and Washington I lose all my California kids. I lose my Idaho kid. That drops my numbers and the school says this sport isnít working to increase enrollment and they drop it for another sport.
We are in danger. And if we sit idly we will all lose in The great northwest. Coaches call the school ADís and demand they keepnwrestling st the NJCAA level. Donít send your kids to club schools. Attend duals at the NJCAA schools. Make a small donation in support of the NJCAA wrestling programs.
If anyone has questions they can contact me via email: Kyle.email@example.com or call (541) 409-0174. I will be glad to fill you in, keep you up to date on what my AD is telling me, and talk about extending any wrestlers career. I know Coach Rhoden and Coach Whitlatch will do the same. In Oregon we are all a united front. Our ADís are all on board to keep our programs NJCAA. Good luck in the rest of your season and have a great holiday.