Eastern Wrestling League
|Eastern Wrestling League|
|Dissolved||after 2019 season|
|Region||Northeastern United States|
The Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) was an NCAA Division I wrestling-only conference. It was made up mostly of schools from the northeastern United States whose primary conferences did not sponsor wrestling as an NCAA-qualifying event. The teams had traditionally rotated as hosts of the qualifying tournament.
The league's inaugural season was in 1976 (during the 1975–76 academic year) and had a charter group led by Penn State, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and three Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) schools in Bloomsburg, Clarion and Lock Haven. After 1977, Buffalo left the league, but West Virginia and Cleveland State were added, growing the league to seven teams. In 1988–89, the PSAC's Edinboro joined to form an eight-team league.
After the 1991–92 season, Penn State left the league when the university joined the Big Ten Conference, which holds its own NCAA Division I Championships qualifying tournament. In 1998–99, Virginia Tech joined the league, but the Hokies left following the 2003–04 season and joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) after receiving an invitation to join for all sports. West Virginia left the EWL when it became an all-sports member of the Big 12 Conference in July 2012 and Pittsburgh moved to the ACC in July 2013.
In 2013, the league announced that George Mason and Rider had accepted invitations to join the conference beginning in the 2013–14 academic year. Both schools were previously members of the Colonial Athletic Association, with George Mason being a full CAA member and Rider an associate whose primary conference (MAAC) does not sponsor wrestling. GMU left the CAA and joined the non-wrestling Atlantic 10 Conference. The departure of George Mason also led to the end of CAA sponsorship of wrestling in 2013. Four of the other EWL schools are normally members of the Division II PSAC. Cleveland State, which had announced it would drop wrestling at the end of the 2015–16 school year, but later reinstated the program without interruption, is a member of the non-wrestling Horizon League.
- Bloomsburg Huskies (1975–2019)
- Clarion Golden Eagles (1975–2019)
- Cleveland State Vikings (1977–2019)
- Edinboro Fighting Scots (1988–2019)
- George Mason Patriots (2013–2019)
- Lock Haven Bald Eagles (1975–2019)
- Rider Broncs (2013–2019)
Schools leaving before 2018–19
- Buffalo Bulls (1975–1977)
- Millersville Marauders (1981–1984)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (1975–1992)
- Pittsburgh Panthers (1975–2013)
- Virginia Tech Hokies (1998–2004)
- West Virginia Mountaineers (1977–2012)
Team dual meet champions
EWL Team Dual Meet Champions
Team tournament champions
EWL Team Tournament Champions
- Roger Moore, NCAA.com (2011-12-23). "Big questions in conference alignment". NCAA.com. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
- West Virginia settles lawsuit with Big East; will join Big 12 in July
- "Cleveland State University to Add Men's Lacrosse Program" (Press release). Cleveland State University. March 30, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- Bash, Homa (April 15, 2015). "Cleveland State's wrestling program reinstated". Cleveland: WEWS-TV. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- "MAC Announces Historic Wrestling Expansion". Mid-American Conference. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
- Brown, Allen; Closson, Bruce. "Eastern Wrestling League Archive". Eastern Wrestling League. Archived from the original on 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2011-02-11.