It looks like Maryville University in St. Louis is going to become an instant wrestling powerhouse as the school moves from Division III to Division II. The school is getting ready to add wrestling to their athletic programs and they are taking advantage of another University’s decision to drop wrestling.
The University of Nebraska-Omaha is making a move from D-II to D-I and will join the Summit League. The decision was made to drop football and wrestling from their athletics. That presented an opportunity for Maryville to snag longtime coach Mike Denney to start up the Saints program.
Denney led UNO to seven national Division II wrestling titles, including the last three. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Nothing is official until Thursday, said Marty Parkes, vice president for communication at the college. But a release from the university Tuesday quoted Maryville President Mark Lombardi as saying, “To create a new varsity athletic program and turn it over to the best coach in our nation is certainly a coup for our university. We enthusiastically welcome Coach Denney.”
Some of Denney’s wrestlers could also be transferring as well. Denney told the UNO school paper that he was hopeful that UNO graduate assistant James Reynolds and seniors Ryan Pankoke and Mario Morgan would join him at Maryville.