ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (BP)--Ouachita Baptist University officials unveiled the Hatcher Wrestling Complex, the new home of the Ouachita Tiger Wrestling Program, during an Oct. 27 dedication and open house.
Tiger Wrestling, which debuted last year as the first collegiate wrestling program in the state, includes 26 wrestlers from nine states.
Hatcher Wrestling Complex was named in honor of Greg Hatcher, president of the Arkansas Wrestling Association and founder and owner of the Hatcher Agency. Hatcher has been instrumental in helping establish and fund Tiger Wrestling, including providing funds for the wrestling complex.
The 8,200-square-foot practice facility features a large wrestling room with two regulation wrestling mats as well as a spacious locker room, cardio and weight area, computer lab, office and other amenities.
The wrestling complex previously served as the university's facilities management building prior to extensive renovation and remodeling.
Kevin Ward, head coach of Ouachita's NCAA Division II wrestling program, described the complex as “one of the finest wrestling facilities in the country.”
“I hope we are able to use this facility to add to the already rich tradition of OBU athletics,” said Ward, a 2005 Big 12 wrestling champion at Oklahoma State University. “This building means a lot to our wrestling team, and we are very thankful for the efforts of everyone who made this possible.”
Ward affirmed the opportunity “to honor the man who made this possible.” Noting that “it took a lot of hard work by many people here on campus,” he said the facility “wouldn't have been possible if not for the generosity and commitment of Greg Hatcher.”
A crowd of approximately 200 students, faculty, staff and other supporters gathered for the dedication, reception and open house.
Introducing Coach Ward to the crowd, Ouachita President Rex Horne said, “The thing that we're so excited about is that he is the first coach of the first collegiate wrestling program in the state of Arkansas. We have a fine man to lead us in this way and fine athletes who have come to wrestle under his guidance.”
Horne described Hatch as a difference maker who is a devoted husband, father, coach and mentor and presented him with a plaque that reads: “In grateful appreciation to Greg Hatcher for visionary and generous support of the Ouachita Baptist University Tiger Wrestling Program and Hatcher Wrestling Complex.”
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