Head Wrestling Coach Ryan Smith

Newman Wrestling Team finds new practice space in . . . a convent?


Head Wrestling Coach Ryan Smith

Head Wrestling Coach Ryan Smith is pleased with the team's new home.

After years of searching, the Newman University Wrestling Team has found a new home in the former pool building at the Adorers of the Blood of Christ convent just south of the Newman campus.

The long-awaited move finally gave Head Coach Ryan Smith and the Jets an opportunity to move out of the cramped location of the former NU Bookstore on the lower level of Sacred Heart Hall. The squad can now enjoy a facility that feels more like an athletic venue than a lonely corner beneath the Business Office – and they don’t have to dodge support beams during drills.

“It has been great being over there,” Smith said. “The mats fit perfectly, we don’t have any poles running through the middle of the room. It’s just a great step in the right direction for this program.”

Smith realizes that college-aged kids wrestling in a convent brings a unique set of circumstances, but he has embraced them.

“Any time you get 18- to 20-year-old guys together there are some concerns about what might get said, especially in a convent,” Smith said. “But our guys have been pretty well-behaved. We are just thankful to the sisters for allowing us the opportunity to use their facility.”

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