Lourdes puts temporary hold on womens wrestling

Lourdes University Vice President for Athletics Janet Eaton-Smith has announced a change of leadership within the Gray Wolves’ women’s wrestling program and that Kate Ray has been relieved of her duties as head coach. 
In addition, the department has undeclared women’s wrestling as a varsity sport for the remainder of the 2021-2022 season.
“At this time, I feel that we need to move in a different direction with regards to our women’s wrestling program,” Eaton-Smith stated.  “I truly appreciate everything Kate did in starting the program here at Lourdes and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”
As a result of undeclaring the remainder of the season, the scheduled matches and tournaments have been cancelled and Lourdes will not participate in postseason play on the conference or national level.  The program plans to be reinstated to varsity status within the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference for the 2022-2023 season.
“Unfortunately, several unforeseen circumstances have arose that will prevent us from competing for the remainder of season,” Eaton-Smith added.  “As a department we need to do what’s best for the program, as well as the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.  We regret having to do this, but know it is in our best interest and look forward to hiring a new coach and competing in 2022-2023.”
Ray was named Lourdes University's head women’s wrestling coach in January of 2020, with the charge of starting the program for the inaugural 2020-2021 season.  Last season Ray guided the Gray Wolves to an 18th place finish at the NAIA National Invitational.
While at Lourdes, Ray produced a pair of NAIA All-Americans as well as an All Mid-South Conference Second Team and Third Team selection.  She had one grappler named MSC Wrestler of the Week as well as NAIA National Wrestler of the Week.
Lourdes produced a pair of MSC All-Tournament Team selections as well as a NAIA Scholar-Athlete under Ray’s guidance.
A search will be conducted for Ray’s replacement.


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