Morgan State wrestling back after decades: 1st HBCU to compete

Morgan State’s wrestling team photo from 1964. (Courtesy Morgan State University)

Morgan State University is making history, bringing back its Division I wrestling program after a 24-year hiatus. It’s a plan Edward Scott, the vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, says they’ve been working on for a while now.

“It started because of our relationship with Beat the Streets in Baltimore,” he said.

What began with a conversation five years ago has transformed into a solid program, supported by the largest donation to the athletics program of $2.7 million from HBCU Wrestling.

“The purpose behind this donation is to create access and equity which will serve to further diversify the sport of wrestling by providing opportunities for student-athletes that do not currently exist,” Scott said.

Next, Scott says they’ll be hiring a coach, bringing on staff and recruiting student athletes. The program is set to begin tentatively in 2023-24. “I want to do this the right way since we’re the first to do it,” he stressed.

(Courtesy Morgan State University

Jumping back into the game isn’t new for Morgan State, the school offered a successful program, making way for four national champions and about 75 All Americans decades ago.

“To be the first is really who Morgan is. We’re innovative, we’re progressive. We’re all about access and opportunity for African Americans and everyone who wants an HBCU education,” Scott said.

He says this will allow young men to pursue the sport they love and get a quality education, which will lead to a powerful legacy. The goal is to eventually see at least five additional HBCU’s that are able to sponsor the sport.

“Wrestling is a pretty diverse sport already … but one of the most surprising pieces is the outpouring of support from traditionally white universities. It tells me the sport was really yearning for this. I think it’s just going to further amplify the sport, especially in the African American community. And of course, we want to win.”

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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