George Mason University has announced that they will be joining the Atlantic 10 conference in time for the 2013-2014 college wrestling year. They had previously been a mid-major team in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Athletic Director Tom O’Connor on Conference affiliation for Mason wrestling:
“Like Mason, the Atlantic 10 maintains a broad range of sports for its student-athletes with championships offered in 21 sports. Mason sponsors 22 sports, 20 of which will compete in the A-10. The only exceptions are wrestling, for which we will remain committed to finding a new league in which to compete, and men’s volleyball which will continue its membership in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.
My first priority after the announced move to the Atlantic 10 is the future conference affiliation for our wrestling program. We have been preparing and are currently engaged in preliminary discussions with several conferences that are interested in our program. We are committed to finding the right fit to give our student-athletes the best avenue to success in the NCAA. We have nothing but confidence that mason wrestling will end up in a great situation.”
Head Coach Joe Russell: “We are excited about the new chapter for George Mason Wrestling. We will miss being part of the CAA and the traditional rivals the CAA conference provided. Nevertheless, we are now in a unique position to choose a new home. Our administration, key stakeholders, alumni, coaches and team will work diligently to find a new conference that best fits our program today and one that will help us grow.
We are appreciative and excited to continue building a program that will make the George Mason Nation proud.”