April 8, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. -
Cal State Fullerton today announced that its intercollegiate wrestling and women's gymnastics programs will be terminated.
The action was considered at the end of the 2009-10 academic year, but the programs were given the opportunity to continue operating if they could fund their own annual budgets. Extensive fund-raising campaigns enabled them to compete in 2010-11 but came up short of a subsequent goal of a two-year funding commitment by a Mar. 1 deadline given to them.
All pre-existing scholarships will be honored until the student-athletes' eligibility has expired. Wrestlers and gymnasts who wish to transfer to other schools will be given blanket releases.
"It is with great sadness that we must eliminate two great Olympic sports that have a long history at Cal State Fullerton," said Director of Athletics Brian Quinn. "Unfortunately, we just do not have the resources to continue sports that are not sponsored by the Big West Conference.
"We want to thank wrestling Coaches Dan Hicks and Risto Marttinen and gymnastics Coaches Jill Hicks and Richard Gishi for their dedication and hard work for the student-athletes. We also want to thank our many donors for their support in helping keep the programs over the past few years."
Wrestling dates to 1968 at Cal State Fullerton. Dan Hicks, who arrived from Oregon State in 2002-03, is only the fourth head coach in the program's history. The Titans never won a team championship but boast 31 conference champions, 12 Div. I and 3 Div. II All-Americans and 87 NCAA Div. I national qualifiers including at least one in the 26 seasons prior to this one.
Gymnastics dates to 1976 when the program achieved national attention from its outset, winning its first 71 matches. Fullerton won the 1979 national championship (AIAW) and had three second-place (2 AIAW, 1 NCAA) and five third-place (3 AIAW, 2 NCAA) finishes to go with 10 conference championships and nine regional titles, all between 1976 and 1995. The program produced 34 All-Americans but none since 1989. Jill Hicks is only the fourth head coach in this program's history, moving up from an assistant's role for the 2007 season.