Wright State adds three sports programs two years after dropping three

An aerial view of Wright State University's campus. Wright State leaders have been paying close attention to the university's budget as the school tries to correct years of overspending.

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An aerial view of Wright State University's campus. Wright State leaders have been paying close attention to the university's budget as the school tries to correct years of overspending.

New teams will start competing in the next academic year

Wright State University announced Monday it is adding three sports: women’s bowling; men’s indoor track and field; and men’s outdoor track and field.

Those programs will start competing in the 2022-23 academic year. The news comes almost two years after Wright State dropped softball, men’s tennis and women’s tennis.

“We are excited to bring these sports to the Wright State community,” Wright State Athletic Director Bob Grant said in a press release. “We look forward to welcoming new student-athletes in these sports, and I am confident these future Raiders will become great ambassadors of the university. We are thrilled to welcome more student athletes to our Raider Family.”

Wright State had to cut $2 million from its budget in 2020. The cuts left it with 11 programs (six on the women’s side and five on the men’s). The NCAA requires Division I schools to sponsor at least seven men’s sports and seven for women or six men’s sports and eight for women, so it sought a waiver from the NCAA to remain in compliance.

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At that time, Grant said he expected the NCAA to give Wright State a year or two to return to the minimum number of scholarship sports (14) required to remain in Division I. Wright State received the waiver that September.

Wright State formed a committee to discuss the future of its athletics programs in 2021.

Wright State will now become the fifth school in Ohio to sponsor women’s bowling, which became a NCAA-sponsored sport in 2003. The school had fielded a club bowling team that won national championships in 2015 and 2019. There will still be club bowling teams on the men’s and women’s sides after the creation of the varsity team.

With Wright State adding men’s track, the Horizon League will have nine men’s track programs. Wright State also has a men’s and women’s cross country team and a women’s track team and has had athletes compete as individuals at indoor and outdoor track meets over the years.

“We are beyond excited to add men’s indoor and outdoor track & field,” said Wright State cross country and women’s track coach Rick Williamson said in a press release. “Giving our men’s cross country runners the opportunity to compete for Horizon League Championships on the track during the winter and spring will certainly help take our program to the next level. We will also be looking to expand our program beyond the distance events, with an eye on bolstering our roster to have as complete a program as possible.”

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