On Thursday, the University of Iowa announced it will be adding a women’s wrestling program to its athletic department. In doing so, Iowa will become the first Power 5 school to add women’s wrestling.

According to the release, the team will begin competing for the 2023-24 academic year, and have begun a national search for a women’s head wrestling coach.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta had further comments on the announcement in a press conference on Thursday.

Barta was asked if he had talked to any other Power 5 programs, especially within the Big Ten, and if they would be following suit?

“I can’t predict. I have had conversations across the country as I’ve been watching this build,” Barta said. “I can’t predict if others will. I certainly hope so. I anticipate that it could happen, but I don’t have any predictions today.”

Current Iowa men’s wrestling coach, and former olympic wrestler Tom Brands was asked if he had spoken to any other coaches who may want to push their programs in a similar direction.

“I think there are several that are close, without speaking for them,” Brands said.

There are currently 45 collegiate women’s wrestling programs across the country, and five of them are located in Iowa.