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Roger Kish to be the next OU Wrestling Coach

Multiple reports have now confirmed that Roger Kish will be the next OU head coach. Kish, the long-time North Dakota State head coach is expected to be announced by OU as early as tonight.

The Bison finished with an 11-3 dual record this season that included a win over OU. They finished fifth in the Big 12 conference and 24th at the NCAA Tournament with two All-Americans.

Here is Kish’s bio from the North Dakota State sports information department.

Roger Kish enters his 12th season as head coach of the North Dakota State wrestling team in 2022-23. He is the fourth head coach in the 65-year history of the Bison wrestling program after taking over the program in 2011-12 from the legendary Bucky Maughan.

Kish has a 98-66 overall record including a 44-28 record in conference duals. Kish has guided the Bison to a 27-24 mark in the Big 12 Conference and was 17-4 in the Western Wrestling Conference.

Kish spent two years as an assistant wrestling coach at NDSU under Maughan prior to taking the head coaching position ahead of the 2011-12 season.

Kish guided the Bison to a fifth, sixth and seventh-place finish in the Big 12 Championships over the last three years. In 2020, Cam Sykora became the program’s first-ever Big 12 champion at 133 pounds and Andrew Fogarty placed second at 165 pounds for the third straight season. In 2021, Luke Weber claimed the program’s second Big 12 Championship at 165 pounds, while Jared Franek earned a runner-up finish at 157 in 2021 and 2022.

Kish has coached 15 Bison to NCAA Championship qualification in the last three seasons. In 2021, Weber, Franek, Owen Pentz and Brandon Metz qualified for the NCAA Championships, with Weber claiming three wins in St. Louis, while Franek and Pentz also picked up two victories. Six Bison qualified to the NCAA tournament canceled by COVID-19 last season.

Kish has directed the Bison to a pair of NCAA West Regional/Western Wrestling Conference championships (2014, 2015) and two WWC regular season titles (2013, 2015). Kish is a three-time WWC Coach of the Year and the Bison have produced 18 NCAA West Region/WWC/Big 12 individual champions.

Four wrestlers, Trent Sprenkle (2013, 125/5th), Steven Monk (2014, 165/3rd), Kurtis Julson (2015, 174/8th) and Hayden Zillmer (2015, 184/6th) have earned All-American honors. In addition, Clay Ream is a three-time NCAA Elite 90 award winner and Jared Franek became the second Bison wrestler to receive the NCAA Elite 90 award at the 2022 NCAA Wrestling National Championships.

Kish joined the NDSU program after a successful wrestling career at the University of Minnesota. Kish was a graduate assistant for the Gophers in 2008-09. The Lapeer, Mich., native was a two-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up for the Gophers at 184 pounds. 

He had a career record of 117-27 for the Gophers. As a sophomore, he went 35-7 en route to a Big Ten title and an NCAA runner-up finish.  In his junior season, Kish was 37-3 and was the Big Ten and national runner-up.  He was also a team captain.

Kish graduated from Minnesota in May 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing education.

He was also a two-time cadet national champion and also captured a USA Wrestling junior national title. At Lapeer West High School, he was a four-time Michigan state champion. Kish is the son of Roger and Brenda Kish. His older brother, James, wrestled at North Carolina.

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