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IRVING, Texas — Northern Iowa’s move to the Big 12 in wrestling became official Wednesday.

UNI, along with fellow newcomer Fresno State, has been added to the conference as an affiliate member for the 2017-18 season. This follows a five-year stint in the Mid-American Conference, where the Panthers went a perfect 8-0 in dual meets last season.

“We are extremely excited that our wrestling program has been accepted into the Big 12 Conference as an affiliate member,” UNI Athletic Director David Harris said in a statement. “We look forward to the challenge of competing in the Big 12 and expanding the brand of UNI wrestling.”

“The Big 12 is predominantly one of the best conferences,” added head coach Doug Schwab. “It puts us in a conference with Oklahoma State, one of the best teams in the country, perennially. It puts us with Iowa State, an in-state rival. We haven’t been able to have that ever, so I think that adds to it. People know the Big 12. People know that name.”

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