“If you build it, they will come.”
That line from Field of Dreams — a quintessential baseball movie — may apply to college wrestling programs as well.
That seems to be the message of wrestling writer T.R. Foley. In a piece for InterMat posted Friday, Foley points out that the University of Michigan dedicated a new stand-alone wrestling facility two years ago… which then led to success in getting top coaches, recruits and wrestlers.
Foley sets the stage by explaining how Cornell University upped the ante in drawing talent with its new-in-2002 wrestling facility. Then, after describing the Bahna Wrestling Facility — dedicated in 2009 — Foley makes his case for the Maize and Blue mat program:
What is different about Michigan is the sudden influx of human capital — a concentration of coaching and athletic talent very rarely, if ever, assembled in one program.
Michigan head wrestling coach Joe McFarland and the Michigan athletic program did what no other program in the country has been able to match, instantly recruiting the best coaches, senior-level wrestlers and top prospects all at once. The confluence of technical expertise, international success, and expectation for future results has taken a Wolverine program from Big Ten afterthought last season to talk of future title contender.
Foley then goes on to talk about how adding Donny Pritzlaff and Sean Bormet as assistant coaches has had a ripple effect in terms of recruiting… and drawing in senior wrestlers seeking Olympic glory. Foley’s presentation serves as food for thought for college wrestling fans to realize what’s possible, not just for one college wrestling program in Ann Arbor, Mich., but for building U.S. success in international freestyle and Greco-Roman competition.
Want to know more? Check out T.R. Foley’s article “Michigan looking to reach new heights” for InterMat.
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