John Smith (wrestler)

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John Smith
Personal information
Full name John William Smith
Born August 9, 1965 (1965-08-09) (age 53)
Del City, Oklahoma, U.S.

John William Smith (born August 9, 1965)[1] is an American folkstyle and freestyle wrestler and coach. He is a two-time NCAA Division I national champion, and a six-time world and Olympic champion. As of December 2017, he had won more world-level gold medals than any other American.[2]

Wrestling career[edit]


Smith attended Oklahoma State University, where he competed in folkstyle wrestling. At Oklahoma State University, he became an NCAA Division I national runner-up, and a two-time national champion. Smith's college career record was 154-7-2.


Beginning in his teenage years, Smith competed internationally in freestyle wrestling. Highlights of his career include four UWW world gold medals, and two Olympic gold medals. At the Senior level (ages 20 and up) his international freestyle wrestling record was 100-5.

Coaching career[edit]

Smith became the head wrestling coach at Oklahoma State University in 1991. During his tenure, Oklahoma State University won five NCAA Division I national team titles, with titles coming in 1994, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. As of 2018, his overall dual meet record was 425-63-6.[3] He had also coached 32 NCAA Division I individual national champions, and coached his wrestlers to 125 top-eight finishes.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

Other honors[edit]


Smith's older brother Lee Roy Smith and younger brother Pat Smith are NCAA Division I national champions. Smith's youngest Smith brother, Mark, was also a successful NCAA Division I, having placed in the top five nationally three times. Smith's nephews Mark Perry and Chris Perry are also NCAA Division I national champions.

See also[edit]


  • Dellinger, Bob & Doris. 1994. The Cowboys Ride Again. Oklahoma Bylines Inc. ISBN 978-1-882336-04-3
  • Zavoral, Nolan. 1997. A Season on the Mat. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-84787-0
  • Hammond, Jairus K. 2005. The History of Collegiate Wrestling. National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. ISBN 978-0-9765064-0-9
  • Moffat, James V. 2007. Wrestlers At The Trials. Exit Zero Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799051-0-0
  • Parrish, Kim D. 2007. Cowboy Up. Oklahoma Heritage Association. ISBN 978-1-885596-61-1


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "John Smith". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC.
  2. ^ "Jordan Burroughs is named a 2017 Comeback Wrestler of the Year by United World Wrestling".
  3. ^ a b "John Smith".

External links[edit]