March 28, 2011

STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith was tabbed as the 2011 Big 12 coach of the year, it was announced today. This year's honor marks the ninth time he has secured that recognition. Dating back to OSU's days in the Big Eight Conference, Smith has now been singled out as his conference's coach of the year 11 times.

Despite coaching the youngest team in the league - the Cowboys' starting lineup consisted of five freshmen and a sophomore - Smith led the Pokes to their second straight Big 12 team title and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2011. Sophomore Jordan Oliver won the NCAA title at 133 pounds and placed second in the voting for the Hodge Trophy given to the nation's top wrestler.

The 2010-11 season provided Smith with an individual milestone, as he became the first coach in the storied history of Oklahoma State wrestling to eclipse the 300-win mark for his career when the Cowboys handed No. 24 Arizona State a 40-4 beating in Tempe on Jan. 2. That win over the Sun Devils was one of 10 Cowboy wins over ranked opponents in 2010-11.

One of the elite coaches in the nation, Smith's career body of work is second to none. The 1988 Oklahoma State graduate boasts a 311-46-6 career record and has five NCAA team titles and 12 conference team titles to his credit. He has coached 24 NCAA individual champions, 92 All-Americans and 70 conference individual champions. Smith is a two-time selection as the NWCA national coach of the year.