A leader both on and off the mat 

Dakota Drew ‘25 is a standout student-athlete in wrestling and ROTC

Dec 13, 2023

Dakota Drew
Dakota Drew

Dakota Drew ‘25 is a first-generation student who came to North Central from San Antonio, Texas, looking to pursue a degree as well as participate in ROTC and join the women’s wrestling team. She is majoring in criminology and sociology. In 2022, she received an Army ROTC Scholarship that will cover three years of full tuition and fees.

Dakota Drew searched through potential colleges looking for a rather rare combination. She wanted to go to a school where she could work toward a career in the military while following her passion for wrestling.  

Thankfully, the women’s wrestling coaches at North Central, one of only 68 NCAA schools with a women’s wrestling program, identified her as a potential Cardinal. She now had a clear path to achieving two major goals.

I always wanted to be in the military and my high school coach told me that if I joined ROTC, I would get to be an officer,” Drew said.  “I was recruited by the wrestling coaches here which gave me an opportunity to wrestle and I also got a scholarship through ROTC. It was like two birds with one stone—it worked out really well.”

Drew’s commitments to ROTC and wrestling have made her student experience worthwhile, and the results have been easy to see. In her second year on the team, Drew placed second in her weight class at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Championships, and she also made the Academic All-CCIW Team. 

She credits her military training with preparing her for any situation. “ROTC focuses on developing you as a leader as well as your critical thinking skills,” said Drew. “You learn how to act efficiently and fast in a safe manner given a certain situation within a time frame. It has been super beneficial.”

Learn more about ROTC and women’s wrestling at North Central College.