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Who is Zack Esposito?

Who is Zack Esposito?

AND why should you listen to him?

Okalahoma State University has one of the greatest wrestlers to have ever represented the United States of America in international competition as a head coach. John W. Smith has won more gold medals than any other American wrestler ever. 

John was so good that he dominated the Russians in Moscow, when the Russians were considered the best on earth. John wrestled literally speaking right next to Dave Schultz at the 1986 Goodwill Games. Dave wrestled at 74kg and John at 62kg. 

After that, John went on to win a Gold medal at the 1988 Olympics at 62 Kg. He then becomes the head wrestling coach for The OSU Cowboys in 1991.Then if that was not enough, a year later wins Gold again at the 1992 Olympics! Needless to say John Smith knows how to wrestle.

Even though a person can wrestle, it does not always equate to becoming a great wrestling coach. There are always exceptions to the rule “Those who cannot do, teach”. Examples being Dan Gable, Tom and Terry Brands, Bobby Douglas and Cael Sanderson. All of these men can do both!

John is more accomplished then all of those mentioned. Both on the world stage and the NCAA Division 1 Stage. With Gable being the exception. Let’s be honest though, it is Gable. Arguably the greatest coach of all time. With 15 NCAA National team Championships in comparison to John Smiths five. 

Yet of those five national titles John’s OSU Team was unstoppable from 2003 to 2006. Four consecutive national titles is a great accomplishment. That feat could not have happened without the help of Zack Esposito. 

Zack spent all four of his eligible years with John at OSU. Zack won the NCAA title at 149Lbs in 2005. That same year he was 35-1. His overall record was 120-12 while wrestling for the Cowboys. 

He was the runner up and a 3rd place finisher in two other NCAA Championships. With three Big 12 titles to his credit. 

Zack spent five years as an assistant coach, before being elevated to Associate Head Coach of OSU. During his first six years coaching OSU, the team won six Big 12 championships with 48 Big 12 Champions. 

Zack was a crucial part of several national champions' development to their titles. Jordan Oliver is a 2x Champion, Alex Dieringer is a 3x Champion, Chris Perry is a 2x Champion and Dean Heil’s national title. All coached by Zack.

It goes without saying that Zack was brought into OSU for a reason. That reason is he knows how to develop young wrestlers into Champions. 

He also knows how to develop a team. Which is obvious considering what he has done in such a short amount of time. 

Sometimes seeing is believing. Check out this video of Zack teaching a simple technique to a young wrestler. Do not let his calm and nurturing demeanor fool you, Zack is a legit savage on the mat.



Zack is showing a great drill to work with youth and older wrestlers alike. It is called the “T-Line” drill. 

The purpose of the drill is to help wrestlers maintain good foot work while moving. Both laterally and medially. 

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Zack adds a random clap during the drill to signal a sprawl. The focus being hips down, then get right back up and move again.  Zack does this from behind the wrestler so that they cannot see when the sprawl is supposed to come. 

This idea is great when teaching young wrestlers, it is fun and reinforces the basics of wrestling. Good wrestling posture, Foot work, ability to move quickly and explosive movement. 

Zack has been coaching young wrestlers for quite some time. Before he moved to OSU he was part of their club program.
Zack also was the head coach for the Cadet, Junior, and Senior Worlds team. He also coached the World Cups team in 2018.

If John Smith and OSU trust Zack with the training of their athletes, you can too. 

Zack has a great Introduction to Wrestling Fundamentals Instructional set. 

From teaching Elementary School age to High school level wrestling, the instructional has everything a coach or parent could want. 

What is exceptional that in addition to basic techniques and setups that all wrestlers need, Zack has added conditioning drills and GAMES!!! To make training both diverse and fun. 

Check it out here!

Introduction To Youth Wrestling by Zack Esposito