Save Boise State Wrestling

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Boise State University just announced that it is cutting its wrestling program, effective immediately. The Bronco wrestling program has been molding young men since 1959 and wrestling has a strong following in the Boise area and in the state of Idaho.

Boise State had one of the top wrestling programs in the country up until a few years ago. The program was top-ten ranked in 2010-11 and had an NCAA finalist that season (and again in 2013). Since 1999, it has produced two NCAA champions, four NCAA finalists, two Olympians, 25 All-American honors, and six Pac-10 team championships. 

But the Boise State wrestling program doesn't just build winning wrestlers; it gives young men the foundation to be winners at life!!  Coach Mendoza, Riley Orozco, Levi Jones, Andrew Hochstrasser are exactly the type of young men I would want molding my son if he wrestled for them.

If you don't know me, my name is Kevin Wood. I've been involved in wrestling for 50 years, 30 of them as a coach. I wrestled at Boise State University from 1979-82 and coached the high school wrestling teams at Mountain View, Eagle, Centennial, and Meridian.  Wrestling is the purest sport of intensity, endurance, mental toughness, camaraderie and simply "finding your true potential" sport that I have ever participated in. I owe the greatest moments and people in my life to the sport of wrestling. 

Every time I walk in and watch the BSU wrestlers work out, I am in awe of the hard work, determination, and true heart these guys put in every single day. A college wrestling room is truly "a jungle" of blood. sweat, incredible mental toughness and aspiring young athletes who don't know the word QUIT!! It is everything that is right about college athletics!! 

I didn't know much about the new Boise St. wrestling coaches when they were hired last year so I gave Head Coach Mike Mendoza a call before he even moved here last year and welcomed him. In the past year, I've come to know him much better and have an incredible amount of respect for Coach Mendoza and his entire staff!! To put it simply, "they get it"!! They want to build a national caliber wrestling program but they are more concerned with turning out outstanding young men first and foremost.

I know wrestling and I know good coaches. The new staff are outstanding coaches!!  They are teaching these young men all of the right things. Work ethic, honor, integrity, being a competitor, being good citizens. I've watched their coaches first hand many times when I stop by after work, and each and every day the end of their practice was emphasized the mantra of "being a good person while being a good competitor!!!!

Although Boise State has said it is eliminating the wrestling program to make way for baseball, this shouldn't be a competition between baseball and wrestling.  There is no need to pit two great sports against each other. Baseball is a great sport. So is wrestling.  

If you know me, have heard of me, have been a wrestler, know a wrestler, respect wrestling, please voice your opinion to let Curt Apsey and Bob Kustra at Boise State know that this not right!!  

I urge Boise State President Bob Kustra, Athletic Director Curt Apsey, and the Idaho State Board of Education to reconsider this huge mistake.