Upgrading by adding a women’s wrestling program to a college’s athletic department continues to pay dividends for years to come.
Female wrestling attracts the type of student-athletes that universities are looking for and increases the quality of the student body.
Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas has found this out first hand.
There was excitement around the female freestyle wrestling world when this announcement on August 30, 2013 was made at lyonscots.com, “Lyon College joins a growing list of colleges – mostly small institutions – adding wrestling to their sports rosters. In addition to the new women’s program at Lyon, other similar programs at Campbellsville (Kentucky) and McKendree (Illinois), as well as the program at WBC will be underway next year.”
Now a memory filled five years later the women’s wrestling program is still going strong.
Lyon College became only the fifth college in Arkansas to offer varsity wrestling, and the first in the state to host a women’s program, when Lyon began competition on an intercollegiate level in 2014-15 year.
Their coach of record is Mr. Kevin Corbett.
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Competitively, Mr. Corbett wrestled for Doane University and Fresno City College (CA) after high school, where he was a three-time Regional Champion, two-time CCCAA finalist for Fresno City, and two-time NAIA All-American for Doane.
He graduated from Doane University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Special Education and PE. He also holds an Associates of Arts degree in Social Sciences.
Mr. Corbett has also served as the men’s and women’s assistant coach for Team Hawaii, and as an assistant coach for Clovis West High School in California.
He previously coached multiple All-Americans and national champions while with Team Hawaii. Including his sister, Kelani Corbett, who won UWW Cadet World Trials and a Cadet National Championship in 2017.
In his interview at therecruitingcode.com, here is what the Lyon College Women’s Wrestling program looks for in terms of their female student wrestlers:
“Our goal as a program is to bring out the best versions of our student athletes in the classroom, community, and on the mat.”
- A wrestler who demonstrates Responsibility will get the things they need done.
- A wrestler who Respects themselves and the people around them will treat everyone with dignity and not degrade themselves or others.
- A wrestler who is Honest is able to be trusted and is a person of integrity.
- A wrestler who demonstrates Team Work has the ability to grow the community around them whether it’s on the mat, in the classroom or the community.
Lyon College has created a vibrant and supportive atmosphere for those very qualities to thrive.
That in part is due to their early beginnings and very strong foundation.
Lyon College is an independent, residential, co-educational, undergraduate liberal arts college located in Batesville, Arkansas, United States. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Founded in 1872, it is the oldest independent college in Arkansas.
The school has been named one of “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes.com and has been recognized for ten consecutive years by the Princeton Review as a “Best College in the Southeast”.
Of special note the vast majority of Lyon classes are taught by full-time faculty members, and more than 90% of Lyon faculty have their terminal degrees (Ph.D. or M.F.A).
In a record unmatched by another college in Arkansas, Lyon boasts 14 out of the last 21 Carnegie/CASE Arkansas Professors of the Year. Lyon has an average class size of 15 and a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.
Their success seems to stem in part from their strong adherence to their mission. At lyon.edu they educate, “Lyon College offers a challenging curriculum centered on the liberal arts, guided by an Honor System and coordinated with co-curricular programs, all fostering the critical, creative thought and ethical, spiritual growth that will prepare students for fulfilling personal and professional lives committed to lifelong learning and service.”
In terms of their sports programs, along with men and women’s wrestling, Lyon competes in the NAIA Division I’s American Midwest Conference and fields intercollegiate athletic teams in baseball (men), basketball (men, women), golf (men, women), soccer (men, women), softball (women) and volleyball (women).
Lyon’s handsome 136-acre campus is located in a comfortable residential setting. It features modern, attractive academic facilities such as the black-box Holloway Theater, Lyon Business and Economics Building, and Derby Center for Science and Mathematics.
Let’s now visit the community where the college is located.
Lyon is located in Batesville, Arkansas, a town of 10,000 that serves as a commercial, medical, governmental, and cultural hub for the surrounding region.
Nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, it is approximately 90 minutes northeast of Little Rock and a little more than two hours west of Memphis. Batesville offers a safe and welcoming setting for the College, and its students reciprocate through an annual Service Day as well as ongoing opportunities to become involved in community efforts such as Habitat for Humanity.
If anyone knows the breadth of the beauty and myriads of amenities of living in or visiting the region would be the local residents.
They are very welcoming.
At arkansas.com they smile, “Holding title as the second oldest city in the state, the town is packed with history. These days, downtown is stocked with law offices, antique stores, music shops and art galleries and has many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. These include buildings such as the Melba Theater, constructed in 1875 as an opera house and then converted a few years later to house a mercantile store.”
What an impressive story.
Lyon College is a welcome addition to the collegiate women’s wrestling community.
With a committed dynamic faculty and administration leading the university into the future, advancing a powerful mission, a women’s wrestling coach rich with experience and competitive success along with the support of a vibrant historic community, it’s easy to understand why the Lyon College’s Women’s Wrestling Program continues to thrive and inspire.
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OPENING PHOTO lyonscots.com photo credit