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Olivet College reinstates wrestling program
Jan 26, 2005

OLIVET, Mich. – The Olivet College Board of Trustees has announced the reinstatement of the colleges intercollegiate wrestling program. In June 2004, the board voted to eliminate the program following the 2004-05 season.

The board reinstated the program in response to a reorganization instituted by first-year head wrestling coach, Todd Hibbs, and program mentoring by the colleges wrestling alumni, according to Olivet President Don Tuski.

Coach Hibbs and our alumni have reinvigorated our wrestling program and established a team goal that supports the colleges overall vision of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility, said Tuski. The new wrestling mission statement reflects the colleges vision and may serve as a model for other athletic programs to follow.

The mission statement is as follows: The Olivet College wrestling team will evolve from an already proud and established winning tradition, into an exemplary program for other sports at Olivet College and wrestling programs across the country. Comet wrestlers will be viewed as the most proactive and positive force in their community as they strive for excellence in athletics, academics and service to others.

Under Hibbs, the Comets have a 7-1 dual-meet record and are ranked 26th in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Brute – Adidas NCAA Division III Top 30 poll.

Olivet College has a great wrestling tradition, said Tuski. My goal is to see that tradition continue for a long time. I am proud of our wrestling alumni who stepped up and responded to the challenge. They played major roles in shaping a program built around hard work, success and tradition. I look forward to working closely with them to help Olivet maintain one of the top wrestling programs in the nation.

Olivet competes at the NCAA Division III level and is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) in all of its 18 sports, except wrestling. The wrestling program was established at the beginning of the 1964-65 season. The MIAA sponsored wrestling as a championship sport from 1968-69 to 1983-84. The other MIAA schools dropped their wrestling programs in the mid-1980s.

According to Hibbs, in order to ease the colleges athletic department travel budget and the amount of time student-athletes spend away from the classroom, he plans to schedule more home events as well as keep the majority of away competition with schools located in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Obviously, all of us involved with wrestling at Olivet College are elated with the boards decision to reinstate a proud and successful program, said Hibbs. From the alumni to the administration to the current student-athletes, this was an example of individuals responsibly working together to reach an amenable solution. Now comes the time to put our plan into action, and to ensure that Comet wrestling is a model for others to follow.

From 1968-2001, Jare Klein served as head coach of the Comet wrestling program. In 34 years, he compiled a 569-116-7 record and a .831 winning percentage, which ranks him first among NCAA Division III coaches and second among all NCAA divisions. In addition, Klein helped produce 16 All-Americans, 43 Scholastic All-Americans and 58 MIAA champions.

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