University of Regina cuts wrestling teams, men’s volleyball team to save money

REGINA — The University of Regina has spiked its men’s volleyball team and axed its men’s and women’s wrestling teams.

The moves were made to save money, the university said Monday in a statement.

“The decision was extremely difficult,” kinesiology dean Harold Riemer said in the statement. “While our elite sports teams are a source of pride for the university, reducing the number of teams on campus enables us to concentrate efforts.

“We will look to meet the teaching and programming needs of a faculty where enrolments have increased by 31 per cent over the past five years and more effectively support competitive excellence within our remaining U Sports teams.”

The statement said an athletics programming and operations report in 2017 concluded that supporting 16 teams was unsustainable, that 13 aligned with similar-sized institutions and also represented a better balance of male-to-female athlete ratio.

The decision means two full-time coaches have been released and a contract position will not be renewed.

Leo McGee has coached the wrestling teams for 23 years, won a pair of national championships and coached Dean Schmeichel, who wrestled in the 2000 Olympic Games.

Greg Barthel has coached the men’s volleyball team since 2007.

Men’s and women’s hockey, basketball, cross-country running, swimming, track and field, women’s volleyball and soccer and the men’s football remain as University of Regina teams competing in the Canada West conference of U Sports.

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