David Morris Taylor III, born on December 5, 1990, is an American wrestler proficient in both freestyle and folkstyle, competing primarily in the 86-kilogram category. He achieved a significant milestone in 2021, securing the 2020 Olympic gold medal by besting the incumbent Olympic and World Champion, Hassan Yazdani—a repeat of his victory at the 2018 World Championship. The following year, he placed as runner-up at the 2021 World Championships, losing to Yazdani, but reclaimed his world title at the 2022 World Championships by defeating Yazdani once again.

Taylor is regarded as one of Penn State’s most illustrious wrestlers, with two NCAA Division I national championships and four Big Ten titles to his name. Additionally, he twice won the prestigious Dan Hodge Trophy during his college years.

On May 6, 2024, Taylor was appointed the 7th Head Coach of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys.

David Taylor Folkstyle Career

High School:
Born in Reno, Nevada, Taylor attended Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio. He excelled in high school wrestling, securing four OHSAA state championships and maintaining a remarkable 180–2 record. He graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA and received the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award in 2009.

College:
Taylor’s college career at Penn State (2009–2014) was distinguished by two NCAA Division I national championships and four Big Ten Conference titles. His freshman year was notable until he was pinned by Bubba Jenkins in the NCAA finals. He moved up in weight class and continued to dominate, culminating in a second NCAA title his senior year. He graduated with an impressive record of 134 wins, three losses, 50 pins, 42 technical falls, and 29 major decisions.

David Taylor Freestyle Career

2010–2012:
Taylor debuted in freestyle wrestling in 2010, winning a University US National title. He competed in the US Olympic Team Trials in 2012, finishing with a 3–2 record.

2013–2014:
In 2013, Taylor was runner-up at the US Open and won a bronze medal at the Summer Universiade. Despite a strong performance in 2014, he was repeatedly bested by Jordan Burroughs at significant events.

2015–2016:
Post-college, Taylor focused solely on freestyle, winning his first US Open National title in 2015 and securing multiple international medals. In 2016, he claimed another Spain Grand Prix title but was unable to make the US Olympic Team.

2017:
Taylor dominated the Grand Prix of Paris and earned a bronze at the World Cup in Iran, defeating several high-level competitors.

2018:
Taylor won the prestigious Ivan Yarygin Golden Grand Prix and secured another World Cup championship. He continued to excel at international competitions, ultimately reclaiming the World Championship title.

2019–2020:
After a knee injury in 2019, Taylor returned to competition in 2020, securing a place in the 2020 Summer Olympics, where he triumphed over significant rivals including Hassan Yazdani, ultimately winning the Olympic gold medal.

As an Olympic medalist, Taylor automatically represented the United States at the 2021 World Championships, where he finished as the runner-up, marking a significant chapter in his enduring rivalry with Yazdani.

David Taylor News

  • Christian Carroll enters the Transfer Portal

    Christian Carroll enters the Transfer Portal

    Oklahoma State freshman Christian Carroll has entered the transfer portal according to multiple reports. The Cowboy freshman and Junior World Team member redshirted last season at HWT, but has been on the descent to 197 and many expected him to battle with Luke Surber for the starting spot there. The Cowboys still have some firepower…


  • David Taylor Retains Tyler Caldwell as Assistant Coach at Oklahoma State

    David Taylor Retains Tyler Caldwell as Assistant Coach at Oklahoma State

    STILLWATER – Oklahoma State head wrestling coach David Taylor announced Monday that former Cowboy Tyler Caldwell will remain with the program as an assistant coach. “I could not be more excited to have Tyler on our staff,” Taylor said. “It was clear to me after meeting with Tyler that our visions for the program align. His…


  • Videos from David Taylor’s Introductory Press Conference at Oklahoma State

    Videos from David Taylor’s Introductory Press Conference at Oklahoma State

    Oklahoma State introduced David Taylor as their newest head wrestling coach on Friday morning. David, his staff, administrators, and others spoke with the media and gave insight on the hiring process, their coaching styles, expectations, and more. You can watch all of our videos from the event at the links below. Thomas Gilman-(Oklahoma State Assistant…


  • Jimmy Kennedy and Thomas Gilman Added to Oklahoma State Coaching Staff

    Jimmy Kennedy and Thomas Gilman Added to Oklahoma State Coaching Staff

    Release from Oklahoma State Sports Media STILLWATER – Oklahoma State head wrestling coach David Taylor has announced the addition of Jimmy Kennedy as associate head coach and Thomas Gilman as assistant coach for the Cowboy program. Kennedy joins the staff after serving as an assistant at Penn State for the past three seasons, where he played…


  • Oklahoma State Officially Announces David Taylor Hire

    Oklahoma State Officially Announces David Taylor Hire

    Full release from Oklahoma State Media Relations STILLWATER – Oklahoma State Director of Athletics Chad Weiberg has announced wrestling great David Taylor as the eighth head coach in Oklahoma State history. “With 34 national championships, the Oklahoma State wrestling program is the most successful in the country by any metric, regardless of sport. We began this search knowing…


  • David Taylor Central

    David Taylor Central

    Look up everything to know about the David Taylor hire at Oklahoma State here. More


  • David Taylor Named New Oklahoma State Wrestling Coach

    David Taylor Named New Oklahoma State Wrestling Coach

    Oklahoma State has found their head coach. The university announced tonight that David Taylor will be the new head coach at Oklahoma State. Taylor is a two-time NCAA champion and 4 time Olympic/World Champion. Taylor won an Olympic Gold in 2020, World titles in 2018, 2022, and 2023, and a Silver in 2021. Taylor just…


  • David Taylor Emerges as Oklahoma State Coaching Candidate

    David Taylor Emerges as Oklahoma State Coaching Candidate

    Seth Duckworth digs in on the Oklahoma State coaching search and how David Taylor and Coleman Scott have become locked in a battle for the job More