John Smith is a former amateur wrestler and coach who specialized in folkstyle and freestyle. As an athlete, Smith was a two-time NCAA Division I national champion (1987, 1988), a two-time Olympic Champion (1988, 1992), and a four-time World Wrestling Championships gold medalist (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991). During the process of becoming one of the greatest US grapplers of all time, Smith was the first American to win a world title while still in college. As a coach, John Smith took the Oklahoma State wrestling team to five NCAA Division I national team titles (1994, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006).
John Smith Wrestling
- NCAA All-American (1985, 1987, 1988)
- 1st Place NCAA D1 Championships (1987, 1988)
- 1st Place Big Eight Conference (1986, 1987, 1988)
- 2nd Place NCAA D1 Championships (1985)
- 1st Place Summer Olympics (1988, 1992)
- 1st Place World Championships (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991)
- 1st Place Pan American Games (1987, 1991)
- 1st Place Pan American Championships (1987, 1991)
- 1st Place Grand Masters Of Olympic Wrestling (1991)
- 1st Place Goodwill Games (1986)
- 62 kg
- Del City High School
- Oklahoma State University
John Smith Biography
John William Smith was born on August 9, 1965, Del City, Oklahoma, U.S., being the second eldest son from a family of 10 children.
Today recognized as one of the most historic households in American wrestling history, this family saga started with Lee Roy Jr., the eldest of the Smith siblings. Lee Roy conquered two state championships for Del City High School, one NCAA title at Oklahoma State University and three silver medals in world tournaments.
In the meantime, while Lee Roy worked his way through the ranks, John started following his older brother’s footsteps. John, who many believe was the best wrestler in American history, started making headlines in the sport during high school, where he conquered two state championships.
Showing tremendous potential early on, John’s talent was snatched by Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1985, where he immediately made headlines again by making it to the NCAA Championships as a freshman, taking second place. A mark he improved upon during the years that followed.
While training at OSU, John Smith also pursued the freestyle wrestling route, with his career ramping up to the top of the international circuit. His achievements list grew quickly as John became the first American to win a world title while still in college. He was also the first wrestler to win the AAU Sullivan Award, which goes to USA's outstanding amateur athlete.
After a glorious career as a competitor, Smith turned to coaching. He became the head wrestling coach at Oklahoma State University in 1992, where he was able to apply his unique mindset and methodology. During his tenure, OSU conquered 5 NCAA national team titles (1994, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006) while leading 32 athletes to NCAA D1 individual titles and 140 to All-American honors.
Although John was a unique athlete, going above and beyond what most humans are capable of doing in a lifetime, the Smith family continued to produce wrestling phenoms. John’s younger brother, Pat Smith became a NCAA Division I national champion, while his youngest brother, Mark, also reached the NCAA D1 championships, placing in the top five on three occasions. John's nephews Mark Perry and Chris Perry are also NCAA Division I national champions while his son, Joe Smith, earned NCAA All-American honors twice while wrestling at OSU under John’s coaching. Outside the wrestling spectrum, John’s nephew, J.T. Realmuto became an all-star Major League Baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Duck Under Instructional By John Smith