This week, Oklahoma State announced their “Hall of Honor” inductees for 2023 and two wrestlers made the list.
David “Buddy” Arndt from Tulsa and the historic Tulsa Cental wrestling program, and Ponca City’s Shelby Wilson.
The group will be officially inducted as part of a ceremony on September 15 in Stillwater.
David “Buddy” Arndt, Wrestling, 1941-46
Top honors: Three-time NCAA individual champion … Three-time All-American … Three-time NCAA team champion … Outstanding Wrestler at the 1942 NCAA Championships … 1981 inductee to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Additional information: Never lost a match during his Oklahoma State career, posting a 23-0 career mark … Won two NCAA titles before World War II, then flew more than 100 missions as a P-38 fighter pilot during the war before returning to win a third NCAA title … Was the only wrestler to win national collegiate championships on both sides of World War II … As a pilot, he was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross with four clusters and also collected six Bronze Battle Stars for action in major battles … His dominating path to Outstanding Wrestler honors at the 1942 NCAA Championships looked like this – a pair of 13-3 wins in his first two bouts, followed by a pin in the semifinals and an 18-5 win in the title bout.
Shelby Wilson, wrestling, 1957-59
Top honors: Olympic gold medalist … Two-time All-American … Two-time NCAA team champion … 1982 inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Additional information: After an injury cut short one season at OSU, he captured two Big Eight titles and twice charged to the national finals-only to suffer disheartening defeats both times … His journey to the 1960 Olympics was also difficult … After an upset loss in the trials, he started the final challenge in the middle of the freestyle ladder … First, he threw the Greco champion to assure a trip to Rome … He then captured the Freestyle ticket by fighting off the challengers below him, and turning the tables on the top-ranked wrestler … And in the shadowed ruins of Rome’s ancient Basilica, Wilson earned the Olympic gold medal … Spent 13 years as a high school and college coach before founding and directing the Stronghold Youth Foundation and becoming and ordained minister.