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Smith secures career wins 442 and 443

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Oklahoma State Cowboy Wrestling vs Oregon State Beavers, Sunday, January 10, 2021, Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, OK. Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics

Image Taken at the Oklahoma State Cowboy Wrestling vs Oregon State Beavers, Sunday, January 10, 2021, Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, OK. Bruce Waterfield/OSU Athletics

Despite not being the most exciting wins in John Smith’s career, he was able to claim two more career wins this afternoon, catapulting him even higher into the record books.

Oklahoma State’s 38-0 shutout of SIU-Edwardsville and 36-4 win over Little Rock account for career wins 442 and 443 for Smith, allowing him to move up once again on the all-time coaching wins list for Division I wrestling.

Smith now sits third all-time, hopping over Rider’s Gary Taylor, who retired back in 2017 with 442 wins.

“It takes a lot of good athletes to be able to do something like that,” Smith said. “It’s a great honor, and I’m glad I’m going to get to share it with this team.”

This is a common sentiment Smith has had this season when it comes to his personal accolades as a coach and one that Dakota Geer holds in high regard.

“Whenever I transferred here, I was starstruck,” Geer said. “Hearing him say something like that, crediting us with getting him there, it feels good.”

Smith moved up to fourth alltime last weekend with wins over Chattanooga and Oregon State, surpassing Minnesota’s J Robinson, who had 440 wins in his almost three-decade career with the Golden Gophers.

Harold Nichols, who spent time at Iowa State and Arkansas State is the next name Smith will need to pass on the list. Nichols spent time at those schools from 1948-1985, and in that time accumulated 492 wins.

If Smith were to reach second on the list, he would still be 124 wins away from the first place, which is held by Oregon State’s Dale Thomas, who in 33 seasons stacked up 616 wins with the program before retiring in 1990.

This adds yet another accolade to Smith’s storied career, both as a wrestler and coach, with his most recent accomplishment being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame back in November.

“I’ve looked up to him since I started wrestling,” Boo Lewallen said. “I had the How Low Can You Go tapes that he made, and when I was in middle school, I would watch those tapes and take notes on them. To have my name a part of (his career) is special.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com