Newman’s wrestling program will join the MIAA as an associate member in wrestling beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, the MIAA and Newman athletic director Vic Trilli announced on Monday.
Newman joins Nebraska-Kearney, Central Missouri, Central Oklahoma, Fort Hays State, Lindenwood and Truman in the NCAA Division II league.
“I am delighted that Newman University has accepted the invitation from our CEO Council to become an Associate Member in men’s wrestling” MIAA Commissioner Dr. Bob Boerigter said in a prepared statement. “Although wrestling is fairly new to the MIAA, our league is quickly becoming one of the most competitive and respected in all of Division II.”
The Jets have been competing as an independent in wrestling, and will remain affiliated with the Heartland Conference in all other sports.
“(The MIAA) approached me to gauge our interest and it was approved at an NCAA meeting in Dallas,” Trilli said. “With travel, this helps us tremendously.”
Trilli shot down any idea that Newman’s affiliation with the MIAA could extend beyond wrestling.
“Honestly, no, just this one sport,” Trilli said. “There are no plans to expand to anything else.”
Newman to honor Potter — Newman will have a court-naming ceremony before a Feb. 2 home game against Dallas Baptist at Fugate Gymnasium.
The court will be named “Potter Family Court” in honor of longtime Newman men’s basketball coach Mark Potter, who took over when the program restarted in 1998 after it was shut down for 11 years.
Potter also played basketball and baseball at Newman in the 1980s.