The Student News Site of Florida Gulf Coast University

Eagle Media

Eagle Media

Eagle Media

Wrestling Club Looks to Make a Mark on the Mat

Lexi Harbach

Not everyone knows that FGCU has a wrestling club, but club president Josh Martinez is determined to change that.

Martinez is a junior and took over the presidential role at the beginning of the 2023 fall semester.

“I wanted to wrestle,” Martinez said. “The club needed help, so I decided to take on the role.”

Since filling the position, Martinez has worked closely with FGCU Recreation & Wellness to pay for the team’s National Collegiate Wrestling Association registration and even purchase new RUDIS singlets for the club. Martinez’s next step as president is growth.

Story continues below advertisement

The wrestling club has around 15 members at their weekly practices, and seven to eight competitors that travel to tournaments. The club has seen steady growth since September, but they are always in search of new members. The team welcomes any FGCU students, especially females as they are hoping to start a women’s wrestling team in the future.

“Whether you have any experience or not, we want you to join our club,” vice president Nathan Maloney said. “We can teach you what you want to know, everyone is welcome.”

While undergoing exciting changes, the club is currently in the middle of their season. Although there is no set practice space for the club, the wrestlers make do with a weekly 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. time slot on Recreation Field #1 near The Water School. Although this is not the most ideal situation, they are actively trying to find space on campus for future practices. For now, all practice dates are being posted to the club’s Instagram page, @fgcuwrestling.

As for competing, the club is currently freelancing their tournaments with the next being at Florida A&M University on Feb. 10. The main goal for the club is to have wrestlers qualify for the 2024 NCWA Nationals which will be held in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“We are hoping to have at least seven guys qualify for nationals,” Martinez said. “Conference is at Florida A&M (University) in the beginning of March.”

Head coach Daniel Weiner is also hoping for growth in the club. Weiner was a part of the last FGCU national championship team in 2014. Now, he’s back to continue that legacy. Weiner was appointed coach of the club in the fall semester of 2023.

“The goal is to make this club into a Division I team,” Weiner said. “We are creating a culture that is going to found something great.”

Weiner has over 15 years of coaching experience which he shares through one-on-one coaching during practice. Weiner joins the wrestlers in conditioning, stretching and drills, which adds to the learning environment they have created.

The FGCU Wrestling Club has created a welcoming, encouraging environment that is excited to welcome any interested students.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Eagle Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *