John Smith to coach U.S. Women's Freestyle team at World Championships

Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith will serve as an official volunteer coach for the United States Women’s Freestyle Team at the 2017 World Championships, which begin next week in Paris, France. Smith will be joined by Campbell wrestling coach Cary Kolat.

“This is my first opportunity (working with the women) and it has been rewarding,” Smith said. “I really respect athletes who are serious about their sport. I saw that throughout the women’s team. It is exciting. I don’t know what this means for Paris, but what I have seen are some young ladies who are ready to wrestle, with a skill level that is superb.”

Smith will be making his eighth coaching appearance on the international stage for Team USA, and first on the women’s side. He served as the coach for the 2000 and 2012 USA Olympic Teams, the 1997 USA World Cup Team, and is a four-time coach for Team USA at the World Championships (1998, 1999, 2010, 2011).

Entering his 27th season at the helm of the OSU wrestling program, Smith has accumulated one of the most decorated resumes of any figure in the sport both on the mat and in the coaching ranks.

Smith won six consecutive world championships as a competitor from 1987-92, including two Olympic gold medals, which followed a stellar collegiate career at OSU that saw him compile a 152-8-2 record to go along with a pair of NCAA individual championships in 1987 and 1988.

On the international stage, Smith rolled to a 100-5 career record that included the aforementioned six world championships (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992), two Olympic gold medals (1988 and 1992), two Pan American Games gold medals (1987 and 1991) and two Goodwill Games gold medals (1986 and 1990).

As a coach, Smith has led his alma mater to five NCAA team titles in 1994, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, and he has coached 32 NCAA individual champions and five Olympians. Under his watch, the Cowboys have brought 17 team conference tournament championships, two Big 12 regular season titles and 110 individual conference titles back to Stillwater. He has seen his student-athletes earn All-America recognition 125 times, an average of 4.8 All-America honorees per year. Smith also has coached two Hodge Trophy recipients in Alex Dieringer and Steve Mocco.

The 2017 World Championships will be held Aug. 21-26, with the women set to compete Aug. 23 and 24.

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