Waldorf College, teetering on bankruptcy a year ago at this time, is reporting more students this fall. Officials at the Forest City college are boosting enrollment with some innovative recruiting.
Waldorf recently became the first college in Iowa to add a wrestling program for women. Tyler Brandt coaches both the mens and womens wrestling teams at Waldorf. “There are (womens wrestling) programs in North Dakota and Oklahoma. We really felt like Iowa was the right place to start a womens program and we wanted to be at the forefront of that,” Brandt said.
Brandt started recruiting women wrestlers in mid-summer. “Our goal for the first semester this year was to have 10 women in the program,” Brandt said. “Right now, we have seven signed and we’re working diligently to get those last three.” The Waldorf women wrestlers’ first meet is next month in Arizona.
Brandt is hoping to triple the size of the squad by next season. “We now have over 50 (wrestlers) on the mens side and our goal, after a full year of recruiting, is 40 on the womens,” Brandt said.
Waldorf’s fall enrollment, with a little help from the emerging women’s wrestling program, is at 640 students. That’s nearly 100 more student than last fall. Only 60 colleges offer women’s wrestling nationwide.
Waldorf was founded in 1903. The college was affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church until last year, when the governing association sold Waldorf to Mayes Education – owner of Columbia Southern University, an on-line school based in Orange Beach, Alabama.