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Grand Canyon University adds wrestling program

PHOENIX - Grand Canyon University (GCU) has added wrestling to its athletic roster and will begin NCAA Division II competition in the fall of 2007. Former All-American R.C. LaHaye has been appointed as the first head coach.

LaHaye will begin immediately recruiting wrestlers, assembling a schedule and laying the groundwork for the program.

"I am extremely excited to be named head coach and thankful to Keith Baker for the opportunity," LaHaye said. "The sport is a perfect fit for GCU, and the addition of it is huge for Arizona and the wrestling community in general."

LaHaye was an All-America wrestler at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., finishing sixth in the nation at the 2005 NCAA Division II championships. He also was a three time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection and earned Academic All-America honors twice.

LaHaye is very knowledgeable about the Arizona wrestling scene having been a three-time state champion and state record setter for career wins at Payson High School.

"R.C. will be a terrific addition to our athletics staff," Baker said. "He was one of the top wrestlers in the country and is still very passionate about the sport. He's knows the landscape very well and has a strong work ethic and attitude. We hope that he will make GCU a very competitive and rewarding team by reaching out the local communities and high school coaches."

The Peoria resident earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western State College last year. After graduation, LaHaye spent time assisting his alma mater's wrestling program in various capacities.

GCU currently offers baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, women's tennis, softball and volleyball. Joining wrestling in the fall of 2007 are men's and women's swimming and men's lacrosse.
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