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|Cedar Falls, Iowa to host National Duals in 2008 and 2009; Mirikitani takes over as NWCA President|
By Jason Bryant NWCA
The National Wrestling Coaches Association approved a motion at its annual general membership meeting that the 2008 and 2009 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals be awarded again to the University of Northern Iowa and the city of Cedar Falls.
The meeting was one of the first items of interest at the annual National Wrestling Coaches Association Convention at the Hyatt Regency Airport in Pittsburgh on Monday.
Last year, Minnesota upended then-top ranked Oklahoma State in the Division I finals which was one of the most exciting finishes in National Duals history.
"The University of Northern Iowa did a tremendous job in hosting the event last year," said NWCA President Ron Beaschler. "The fact they want the event for two more years even before they host the event this year really speaks volumes about how they see the future of the event."
The NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals has become the largest collegiate dual meet event in the nation, with tournaments in every major college division. All three NCAA divisions have tournaments with 16 teams, as does the NAIA. The NJCAA has an eight-team tournament, the NCWA has a four-team round-robin tournament while four collegiate women's programs also wrestle a round-robin tournament.
"The NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals now has a chance to grow some roots and continue to develop the fanbase in the wrestling-rich Iowa region," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "There are so many solid wrestling programs within a 4-5 hour drive in all divisions that can create an electricity by rooting their respective colleges on in an exciting dual meet tournament."
"We think Northern Iowa and Cedar Falls will really accentuate the visibility of the event nationwide," added Beaschler.
Last year was Northern Iowa's first year hosting the event which has previously been hosted in Cleveland, Ohio at Cleveland State University, State College, Pa., at Penn State University, Columbus, Ohio at Ohio State University, Lincoln, Neb., at the University of Nebraska, Iowa City, Iowa at the University of Iowa, Ann Arbor, Mich., at the University of Michigan and in Hampton, Va. as part of the Virginia Duals.
The NWCA budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year was approved.
Also voted on and approved was the motion that University of Buffalo head coach Jim Beichner serve as President-elect and St. Louis-Meremac head coach Ron Mirkitani will assume the role of President of the National Wrestling Coaches Association to take over for Ohio Northern head coach Ron Beaschler, who's term expired.
"It's a real honor to be elected to this position," said Mirkitani. "When I came on board years ago, I didn't think I'd be doing something like this."
"Hopefully, I can do what I can to help out the sport of wrestling," he said.
Mirikitani also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling.
In other notables to come out of the general board meeting: The minutes from the prior meeting were approved and there was a motion to expand the board of the NWCA to include a women's wrestling representative.
Barb Brummett, a wrestling official from Missouri was nominated, and seconded, to be a representative of women's wrestling for the National Wrestling Coaches Association. She will work at the state levels on promoting women's wrestling at the high school and collegiate levels.
"Having this position helps us as an organization make sure we have all bases covered in the respect that we're continuing to enhance wrestling's visibility and increase awareness of the sport," said Beaschler.
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a professional organization dedicated to serve and provide leadership for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on scholastic and collegiate programs. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.
The NWCA, through its organizational structure, promotes communication, recognizes achievement, recommends rules and regulations, sponsors events, and serves as an educational and informational source. Additionally, the NWCA strives to foster the sportsmanship and integrity that are the cornerstones of athletic competition.