Chasse Conque hopes to have the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s first wrestling coach on the campus by July 1.
The director of athletics for the school said the wrestling program will add an assistant coach in late spring or early summer of 2019. The inaugural season starts in the fall of 2019.
Conque said wrestling, which will be the only NCAA Division I program in Arkansas, is expected to cost about $500,000-$550,000 annually.
But he said the sport wouldn’t have been possible without a $1.4 million pledge from Greg Hatcher, owner and founder of the Little Rock insurance agency The Hatcher Agency. The Trojans will build a wrestling practice center, at a cost estimated at about $1.5 million, and name it the Greg Hatcher Wrestling Center. The matches, though, will be held in the Jack Stephens Center on the UA Little Rock campus.
UA Little Rock will be able to add 55 or so student athletes to the campus, with about 30-35 of those being wrestlers.
Conque said wrestling has become popular in Arkansas in recent years. About 200 high schools in Arkansas offer wrestling. “Ten years ago we didn’t have any,” he said.