Tigers join MIAA wrestling league

KANSAS CITY, Missouri Ouachita Baptist University’s wrestling program has been accepted into the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and will begin competing in the league immediately starting in the 2023-24 season.

Ouachita wrestling has been an associate member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference since 2018. That was the first conference affiliation for the team since the inception of the program in 2010.

“We are excited about our new venture in the MIAA in a traditionally super competitive conference,” said seventh-year Ouachita head coach Kevin Crutchmer. “We also want to thank the GLVC for allowing our athletes an opportunity to compete for individual and conference championships for the past five seasons.”

With the addition of the Tigers, the MIAA now sports six wrestling members – Central Missouri, Central Oklahoma, Fort Hays State, Nebraska Kearney, Newman, and Ouachita. The league features the last two national champions at the NCAA Division II level in Central Oklahoma (2023) and Nebraska Kearney (2022). Last season alone, the MIAA had 21 wrestlers from five different institutions competing at nationals with a combined 14 All-Americans.

In the MIAA’s announcement on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner Amber Feldman said, “We are excited to welcome the Tigers to our MIAA wrestling lineup. Our programs have had consistent success on the mats, and we look to enhance that even further with the addition of Ouachita Baptist starting this next season.”

Ouachita became the first university in the state of Arkansas to offer collegiate wrestling in 2010. Since then, the program has racked up six top 25 finishes, four top 15 finishes, 17 All-Americans, two individual national runners-up, and one individual national champion. This past season, the Tigers posted a winning season with a final 7-6 overall record and a 4-3 mark in GLVC contests for fourth place in the league. All-American heavyweight Johnny Green led the way for the Tigers with a fifth-place finish at nationals.

Ouachita Athletics is no stranger to the MIAA. The Tiger men’s soccer and men’s tennis teams compete in a combined league featuring teams from the MIAA and the Great American Conference.

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