Wrestling Returning to Millikin

After a short hiatus, wrestling will return to Millikin University for the 2015-2016 academic year after being discontinued in 2008.

Dr. Craig White, Millikin’s Director of Athletics, said, “I’m not sure why it was discontinued. I think wrestling is a great sport. [It] will give the opportunity to young men to continue competing in a sport they love while earning a college degree, and the sport should attract more students to Millikin.”

With the wrestling season around the corner, the question of who will act as coach has been thrown around. According to White, Millikin is now taking resumes for the head coaching position, hoping to fill the position soon.

“There are over 17,000 high school wrestlers in Illinois, and the restoration of the Big Blue wrestling program will provide additional student athletes the opportunity to experience Millikin’s Performance Learning educational program while competing in the sport they love,” Millikin President Patrick White said.

Freshman Dillon Blankenship, former wrestler for Lockport, said, “I think it’s great. Wrestling was a big part of my high school career, and . . . I think having a team will really bring the school together as a family.”

While the break from Millikin’s wrestling may have dulled some of the buzz, many students excelled in the program during their time at Millikin. One wrestler who particularly stood out was Kip Crandall. He was a four-time CCIW champion from 1985-1988 and finished second place nationally.

Other standouts include three time CCIW champions Nate Carden ’03, and Richard Harvey ’92. According to the Millikin athletics page, “Harvey won the 167-pound weight class from 1991 to 1993. Carden was the CCIW Heavyweight Champion in 2000 and then won the 285-pound weight class in 2002 and 2003.”

To help restart the wrestling program, Millikin wrestling alumni have set a goal to raise up to $100,000 from other alumni and friends of Millikin.

President White said, “Millikin University has a long and storied history of wrestling success. We look forward to Big Blue wrestling becoming an important part of Millikin’s culture of performance and achievement.”

According to White, students interested in competing for Millikin’s wrestling team should contact the new coach once he is hired.