Wrestling Announces 2006-07 Schedule
Aug. 25, 2006
GREELEY, Colo. - A visit from the top team in the country and membership into a new wrestling conference highlight an exciting season for the Northern Colorado wrestling team.
The Bears will compete in the newly formed Western Wrestling Conference that is composed mainly of Mountain West and former North Central Conference institutions.
The WWC consists of programs from Northern Colorado, Air Force Academy, North Dakota State University, the University of Northern Iowa, South Dakota State University, Utah Valley State College and the University of Wyoming.
"We believe that the new conference can evolve into a top Division I league. The WWC also enhances our schedule, builds and renews rivalries and provides competition in addition to the NCAA Championships," said Northern Colorado head coach Jack Maughan, entering his 20th season at the helm of the Bears wrestling program.
The home schedule is highlighted by the season-opening dual meet with the University of Minnesota on December 1, 2006. Northern Colorado will go against the likely top-ranked Golden Gophers, a team that was runner-up last season at the NCAA tournament. UM returns all but one starter from that team, including a pair of national champions in senior heavyweight Cole Konrad and sophomore Dustin Schlatter (149).
"We are excited to bring the highest level of wrestling to Greeley," said Maughan of the Golden Gophers. "We could not have opened our first year in Division I with a tougher opponent. Minnesota is a program that we are working to emulate to the best of our ability."
Also on the schedule is Big XII power Nebraska, and four Pac-10 teams: Oregon State, Portland State, Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton. This in addition to a WWC schedule that includes matches against Northern Iowa and Wyoming at home and North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Air Force, Utah Valley State on the road.
The Bears open their season Nov. 11 at the Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyo., before hosting their own Old Chicago/Northern Colorado Open Nov. 19. Other tournaments include the Bob Smith/Fort Hays State Open, Dec. 2 in Hays, Kan., and the Lone Star Duals Jan. 6 in Arlington, Texas.
Wrestling is one of only two Northern Colorado sports (volleyball is the other) that is postseason eligible for the 2006-07 season, and Maughan will have the Bears at the NCAA West Regionals in Cedar Falls, Iowa March 3, marking a postseason wrestling return that is long awaited in Greeley.
"It has been a long five years since we announced our intentions of transitioning to Division I. The wrestlers and coaches are looking forward to having the opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships in March."