Augustana welcomes first female wrestling coach

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois (KWQC) - In 2021, Augustana College introduced their new varsity women’s wrestling team. This year, they are welcoming their first ever female wrestling coach to help lead them to success.

Wrestling played a huge role in Patricia Martin’s childhood in Michigan.

“I’ve been wrestling since the seventh grade,” said Martin, the wrestling program graduate assistant for Augustana College. “My brothers both wrestled and then my dad kind of just put me in too. We rolled out a little tiny piece of a mat in a basement of my brother’s high school and my dad had him work with me for like an hour. That was my very first wrestling practice.”

Tournaments took her across the country, and to Canada. She continued wrestling into college at University of Jamestown in North Dakota. After receiving a degree in biology, she moved to Texas, where she spent four years teaching and coaching.

Then she found Augustana in a Google search in March.

“I remember seeing that they got a women’s program,” said Martin. “And once I saw that I was just so excited. So just seems like my life was like pointing me to the direction of the school for a while.”

Martin will be the first female wrestling coach at Augustana, working with both the men and women’s teams.

“It just kind of shows you that as a female, you can do anything you want to. I was even the only female on my high school team,” said Martin. “The sport is growing so fast each year, each day, honestly. I love seeing the little girls come out to the camps and all that it’s great.”

Through this historic first, Martin will try to bring more people to see what she loves about the sport.

“Wrestling is just one of those sports where you can be anybody and big good at it. You can be, I’m five feet tall, you can be five feet tall. And this can be a good sport for you. You can be six feet tall and it can be a good sport for you,” said Martin. “It’s just a sport where if you put in the time in the effort, you can do great things.”

Martin says the wrestling program is in its off season right now, but you can see her work in action in Augustana’s 2022-23 school year when the Vikings hit the mats.

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