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Oklahoma State Wrestling

It Appears David Taylor Top Candidate for Oklahoma State Wrestling Head Coach Vacancy

May 6, 2024

(This story was a collaboration of Zachary Lancaster and Robert Alle of Pokes Report.)

STILLWATER – A few days after rumors started swirling around message boards across the country, former Penn State national champion, and 2020 Olympic gold medalist, David Taylor, appears to be one of the top candidates for the Oklahoma State head coach job.

Pokes Report did confirm that Oklahoma State athletics director Chad Weiberg made a trip to State College, Pa. to meet with the former Nittany Lions wrestler and Olympic and multiple World Championship Gold Medal winner. What was discussed we do not know. Weiberg’s interest could be the thought of making a “John Smith” type hire. The difference is Smith, while he had not formally coached before Oklahoma State hired him, he did completely know the lay of the land having grown up and wrestling in the shadows and inside of Gallagher Hall. 

USA Wrestling
Taylor celebrating fourth World Championship.

Taylor, who just finished his freestyle wrestling career at the 2024 Olympic trials in April, was a two-time national champion at Penn State, where he finished his career as a two-time Hodge Trophy winner, just the third multi-award winner in NCAA history, a four-time Big Ten champion and with a 134-3 overall record, including 50 pins, 42 tech falls and 29 major decisions.

Following his collegiate career, Taylor went on to post a 152-21 overall record in freestyle wrestling, which included three US Open Championship gold medals, three Pan American Championship gold medals, one World Cup gold medal, three World Championship gold medals and an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo games. 

Nittany Lions Wrestling Club
David Taylor

Taylor has been a mainstay in helping Cael Sanderson build the powerful Penn State program as a wrestler for the Nittany Lions and Sanderson. Since his collegiate career, he has remained in State College as a resident athlete with the Nittany Lions Wrestling Club. He has competed under that support system and has contributed to the entire Penn State operation.

This is a quote from his bio in the Nittany Lions Wrestling Clube website: “David’s personality, attitude, and success on the wrestling mat have contributed greatly to the success of the entire NLWC program.” 

John Smith, the greatest wrestler of all-time, retired from Oklahoma State in April after 32 years as the head coach of his alma mater, where he won five NCAA team titles, his first in 1994 and four-straight from 2003 to 2006. During his 33 years as head coach, Smith has recorded a dual record of 490-73-6, which is most among active head coaches and third all-time behind only Harold Nichols and Dale Thomas. In fact, those three coaches are the only three ever to have at least 450 career dual wins.

Oklahoma State Athletics
COleman Scott was the assumed inside candidate to get the OSU head coach job.

During that time, the Cowboys have win 21 Big 12 team titles, including 132 individual conference titles and 153 All-Americans, which according to Oklahoma State athletics media relations, is believed to be the most in Division 1 wrestling history with an average of 4.6 All-Americans per season. 

Oklahoma State is one of the top jobs in college wrestling and the head coach vacancy has been heavily discussed since Smith retired. Former Oklahoma State wrestler, and Olympic bronze medalist, Coleman Scott, was named the interim head coach following Smith’s retirement.

Discussion from...

It Appears David Taylor Top Candidate for Oklahoma State Wrestling Head Coach Vacancy

6,669 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by JPat
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Sounds like DT has a LOT of roots in the State College area. Family, businesses, etc. If he leaves for Stillwater, it's going to be a helluva offer.

He obviously has a great resume as a competitor. But can he coach and develop championship college wrestlers?
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What??? If you go all the way to State College, PA, the only coach you bring back is Cael Sanderson and half of that team with a NIL offer they cannot refuse. If not, then get a former Cowboy!!! GO POKES!!!
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If that happens, Coleman Scott is dust in the wind. The dude left a head coach job at NC to be an assistant at OSU. This sure looks like a bag-over-the-head, punch-in-the-mouth to him, big time.
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