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John Smith Named to 2024 AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame Class

From Oklahoma State Sports Information

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State wrestling head coach John Smith is set to be inducted into the Amateur Athletic Union Wrestling Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2024, the organization announced Friday.

Smith is the first nominee to be inducted into the 2024 AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame Class for his outstanding commitment and impact on the overall growth and development of the sport.

Now in his 33rd year as head coach of his alma mater, John Smith is a name synonymous with wrestling success at any level. Smith is Oklahoma State’s all-time winningest head coach with a dual record of 477-72-6 and has led the Cowboys to five NCAA team championships and 23 conference championships. Under Smith’s leadership, OSU has posted 33 NCAA individual champions, 152 All-Americans and 131 conference champions.

As a wrestler, Smith was a six-time world champion at the Senior level, including gold medals at both the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. During his time at Oklahoma State, he was a two-time NCAA individual champion and three-time All-American, while setting a number of program records, including career victories with 152.

In 1990, Smith accepted the James E. Sullivan Award, a prestigious honor awarded by the AAU to the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete. Smith was the first wrestler to ever win the award.

Inducting Smith into the AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame will be his former teammate at Oklahoma State and member of the 2023 AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame Class, Tom Erikson. The ceremony will be held this summer during the 2024 AAU Wrestling Scholastic Duals.

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