January 22, 2015 at 11:15am

Millikin University names Birt Head Wrestling Coach

Millikin University is pleased to announce that Ryan Birt has been named the new Big Blue head wrestling coach. Last month Millikin announced that its NCAA varsity wrestling program would return to competition in the 2015-16 academic year after being dormant since 2008.  Birt will start at Millikin on January 26.

"We are thrilled to welcome Ryan Birt to Millikin to lead the resurgence of a strong Big Blue wrestling program," said Millikin University President Dr. Patrick White.  "At Loras College, Coach Birt has been a driving force in recruitment and on-the-mat success for a team that has been consistently near the top of the Iowa Conference, the premier NCAA Division III wrestling conference."

"We are very excited to have Ryan Birt joining the Big Blue staff to lead the return of our wrestling program," said Dr. Craig White, Millikin Director of Athletics.  "Birt's excellent knowledge of the sport and a strong coaching background will serve Millikin well as we build a competitive wrestling program."

"I am so thankful that President White and Dr. Craig White are giving me the opportunity to lead Millikin in the sport of wrestling," said Birt.  "It seems like there is a lot of support at Millikin and Central Illinois for wrestling so I believe we can be successful immediately.  I can't wait to get to work and put Millikin on the map as one of the top D3 programs in the country.  I was raised an Urbana Tiger, so I am very excited to be coming home to Central Illinois and joining the Millikin staff."

Birt comes to Millikin with over 16 years of wrestling coaching experience at the club, high school and collegiate level.  Birt is an accomplished wrestler earning an NCAA National Championship and twice earning All-American status.

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Athletics