OSU Finishes NCAA Tournament with Two All-Americans

Originally published at: https://pistolsfiringblog.com/osu-finishes-ncaa-tournament-with-two-all-americans/

OSU will have lowest NCAA tournament finish in program history

1 Like

First of all to whom in PFB it may concern your video link to Coach Smiths comments is behind a paywall, an obscure one at that. Just FYI 99.9% of us probably don’t subscribe and won’t bother just to watch one video. Finally it is the dark ages for OSU wrestling, darkest that we ever have been. I am truly worried that this is the end for the wrestling program and there is really no coming back , at least in my lifetime.


This year will be remembered when our men’s athletic programs weren’t bad at anything – but weren’t good at anything, either.

On that note, I wish our baseball team would use their next off day to go to the barber shop.

Thanks as always for the articles, Seth!

This doesn’t bode well for John’s future IMO, although I seriously doubt Chad & co have the cojones to make any major changes with long-established HCs like Gumby and John-John. But what a crazy slide for our wrestling team.

Has anyone heard anything as to why Trevor Mastrogiovanni quit?

All, it all starts and ends with the HC. Penn State turned around immediately after hiring Sanderson. There was a long article this week on either ESPN or the Athletic about the hiring of Sanderson. The program will continue to decline until John John is gone.

Not sure who the next Sanderson is. Maybe Seth has some thoughts


Unfortunately I have to agree. Coach smith was the greatest wrestler that ever was. We will never forget that ever. But as a coach he hasn’t made the grade and needs to step down so that his school has a chance to be great again.

Lots of things got say about wrestling program. Just like other sports, there is a lifespan to a coach as far as success. Unless you are a coach K etc. I am no expert at wrestling but i feel these things need to happen.
1- As bad I hate to say it, new blood at the top. I really like the aggressiveness of the Cornell coach. We need someone also that has ties to east coast HS coaches. Also, use previous relationships like Shane Roller, to form relationships to help w future NIL deals .
2- we let the NIL get out ahead of us. Wrestling more than any other sport, is more projectable. A great. Junior wrestler tends to be a great college wrestler. Not always but most of the time. Not a lot of 3 stars that become high level all Americans like football. There is 10 weight classes. NIL $ is the fastest way to make a change. Let’s identify weight classes and top HS kids that we can compete for a semi finalist at the least right out of the gate. Maybe it’s 2-3 weights and start there.
3-Club program. I think this is the most important thing for long term success. Just look at all the guys in the Penn st club. Aaron Brooks said the hardest matches he has ever had is in their wrestling room. The new money on the wrestling center will help.


The Big Ten is dominating college wrestling. Penn St obviously is the leader. How many realize that besides PSU 3 other Big Ten teams have won a NC since the Cowboys last won a Natty? The Cowboy decline was magnified this year but has been happening for a decade or more. Our incoming class looks pretty good but it’s not going to kick the door down. Can we land top flight talent anymore?

1 Like

It’s probably time for a change at HC and get some new blood.

I posted several times saying we need new assist coaches and we need to be more aggressive.
But we dont need to lose John S. I love what John S stands for. Look at the moral character we have on our team. I dont believe leadership is our problem.
I think the problem is our kids have adopted Chris Perry’s defensive minded approach. Instead of attacking, we sit back and try to counter and scramble to score points. We dont have the killer instinct anymore.
I believe John needs to stay, but we have to bring in some new assist coaches to bring some fire and excitement back into program.

1 Like

I would say that I am an expert in wrestling (D1 college wrestler, all-American, hs coach, etc.) and I’ll agree with many of your points. OSU has fallen behind in NIL. Honestly, it should be easy to get top recruits an NIL at OSU. But, let’s face it, contrary to what some athletes may claim, no one is paying wrestlers a fortune. So, while NIL is an issue, the bigger problem is the transfer portal. Coach Smith has not done a good job filling in gaps in the lineup with transfers. Combine NIL and the transfer portal and OSU should be able to make a difference at a couple of weights and that may be enough to turn the tide.

Club program–you are absolutely right here. OSU’s club (RTC) is an absolute joke. No Olympian is training in Stillwater. Coach Smith hired Derek Fix to run it so he could get Daton. Daton underachieved for four years and his dad was a mediocre high school assistant coach and referee. You need a real coach with international experience and athletes trying to make world and Olympic teams to have a successful program. Look at Penn St. They have almost all the best American international wrestlers training in State College. OSU has a mediocre high school assistant coach more known as a high school referee.

Alas, I am afraid that the sport has passed the most influential American wrestler ever. John Smith changed American wrestling technique, style, and philosophy for decades at all levels. Unfortunately, that no longer applies (and OSU is not even wrestling like the old John Smith). All coaches have a limited shelf life, no matter how good they are. It seems Coach Smith is getting close to his.

Mike Grey at Cornell has done a fantastic job. Rob Koll before him also did an incredible job. Jack Spates before him turned the program around (and did a pretty good job at OU afterwards). If you can win at Cornell, surely you can win at OSU. However, if I were making the hire of a new coach, I would throw everything I could at Jordan Burroughs. Even though he hasn’t coached before, JB brings a name that every young wrestler knows. Cael Sanderson has turned out to be a great coach, but what enabled his recruiting success (at least initially) was his huge name recognition. As great as John Smith’s resume is, Burroughs is better. Also, as a coach, Smith hasn’t won a national title since graduating hs seniors were 1 year olds. I know there are a lot of alumni doing great jobs at other schools (NC State, UNC, Oregon St., Wyoming, etc.), but none of them bring the name recognition that is needed to recruit against Sanderson. I would also find a way to get Daniel Cormier involved in the program. His UFC success brings a ton of recognition, too.

Sanderson is doing at Penn St. what Gable did at Iowa in the 80s. It is quite impressive. I don’t know if Oklahoma State, away from the population centers of great high school wrestling that is in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey, can dethrone them. But with the right coach and name recognition, RTC, and use of NIL and transfer portal, there is no reason OSU can’t compete.


Curious, what sort of connection would Roller have w/ regards to NIL? He’s doing good work w/ Bixby’s team and there’s a ton of Rollers still in Bixby so hopefully one or more becomes a stud for oSu.

The Louisianimal is making too much $$$ doing what he’s doing in the UFC and I can’t see him moving back to OK. He reps oSu as well as anyone wearing Ok State wrestling stuff. Burroughs would be an interesting pick.

I don’t agree that Sanderson has more accomplishments than John, 2 golds vs 1, unless you think 4 natties + 1 gold overtakes it? But I’d personally rather watch folkstyle any day of the week over freestyle. :joy:

One thing, we haven’t been real good since Kenny Monday left Stilly as an assistant. Not saying it’s all due to him, but there’s something there…and the assistants we have now. Might be time to bring back Pat Smith!

1 Like

I don’t know the ins and outs on the NIL and the RTC but I would think it’s Chads job to dig in to the situation and talk to a lot of people and at least have a plan in place to revive the program
Find out what’s possible to put in place, make wrestling a priority now
I don’t know if John has the energy to bring us back to the top. He’s been here 31 years. That’s a long ass time to be anywhere. We have had top classes the last few years but there doesn’t seem to be improvement. Not saying John should be fired, let him make his own decision, but be realistic. Finishing 18 or 19 is just a disaster
Wrestling should be a top priority here, the championships have been too long ago

1 Like

I never said Sanderson has more accomplishments as a wrestler (although that’s debatable). I said Sanderson’s initial recruiting success was based upon his name recognition and accomplishments. Now, his recruiting success comes from his coaching success–which is far more than Smith’s. However, John Smith’s success as a competitor was a lifetime ago. No wrestler in college was alive when he was competing. Heck, only a few high school seniors were alive the last time OSU won a team championship.

Jordan Burroughs, however, does have more wrestling accomplishments than John Smith or any American. His 7 Olympic and world golds stand above anyone else.

1 Like

Fascinating write up. I hope you share it beyond this page. Really good thoughts here.

Monday, Pat Smith, Guerrero, even Dieringer.

1 Like

I would think monday mite be the best. How much has pat coached. Be great too

1 Like

I was at lunch today with some HS classmates and one guy is close to Kenny Monday. He said an oSu booster called him trying to get Kenny’s cell # and it’s related to bringing him back…

1 Like

Anyone know why Mondays son didn’t come here? He would have helped us

1 Like