MAC announces historic expansion in wrestling

Brandon Lewis

The Mid-American Conference just got a lot bigger.

The MAC announced a historic expansion Tuesday in terms of the conferences’ wrestling teams. Starting in the 2019-2020 season, Bloomsburg, Clarion, Edinboro, Lock Haven, Rider, George Mason and Cleveland State will all compete in the MAC. The seven teams added all came from the Eastern Wrestling League and the addition puts the total number of members in the conference at 15, making the MAC now the second largest NCAA Division I Wrestling conference.

Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said he is not sure how the expansion affects the future.

“It’s a tough question to answer right now,” Andrassy said. “I don’t know if it will help or hurt us in the long run. If the MAC and EWL merged this year, we would get five less bids for the national tournament, but it does give us strength with scheduling and recruiting in the area. We’ll have to find out over time whether it’s a good or a bad thing.”

Andrassy said he thinks the move was made mostly to help grow the sport of college wrestling.

“When we sat down at a conference meet to make this decision, I do not think we did it with the intention to gain more qualifiers because we could also lose qualifiers,” Andrassy said. “I think we did it to give these teams that are smaller stability. I don’t know if it helps Kent State or not, but I do know that the future of college wrestling is bright.”

The eight current teams in the MAC will be competing in the MAC Championship beginning at 3 p.m. Friday at Old Dominion.

Brandon Lewis is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]