NCWA & TCWF seek to create first D-I wrestling program in Texas

Updated: October 16, 2023

The NCWA and The Texas Collegiate Wrestling Foundation (TCWF) are thrilled to welcome coach Grant Leeth as the new leader for Tarleton State University’s NCWA intercollegiate wrestling program.

The establishment of this new team, chartered just last month, marks a significant development in Tarleton State’s skyrocketing academic and athletic growth. The team is set to compete as a proud member of the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA), while the TCWF passionately pursues its goal of raising the required $2,000,000. This ambitious fundraising initiative aims to explore the future possibility of a potential wrestling team to Tarleton State’s existing NCAA athletic offerings.

Grant Leeth

Coach Leeth, an enthusiastic All-American athlete and seasoned assistant coach was recruited by the TCWF from Stanford. He will soon be accompanied by a proficient assistant brought in from Army West Point. Together, they will guide the university’s NCWA team through tournaments and duals, engaging with other programs from NCWA, NCAA, and NAIA across the southwest region.

It is crucial to clarify that this newly-established program aligns with the NCWA Fast Start Plan, strategically designed to pave the way for the future possibility of adding NCAA wrestling at Tarleton State University (TSU). The realization of TSU as the first NCAA Division I program in Texas hinges on the successful fundraising efforts led by Leeth and the TCWF.

The Fast Start Plan prioritizes expediency, aiming to place wrestlers currently on campus and potential recruits onto the mat promptly, allowing them to gain valuable experience. This occurs simultaneously with ongoing efforts to secure the necessary funds for establishing a high-caliber, competitive Division I program.

This approach stands in contrast to traditional scenarios where the announcement of a new DI program precedes an extended waiting period of 18 months to three years before athletes can engage in competitive matches. The Fast Start Plan’s innovative strategy seeks to kickstart training, recruitment, and competition swiftly, ensuring a seamless integration with the broader goal of funding a quality NCAA DI program.

Tarleton State has continued enthusiasm for the collaborative efforts of TCWF and the nationwide wrestling community. Together, they aspire to transform the Texas dream of an NCAA Division I wrestling program at Tarleton State University into a potential tangible reality.