No school in the nation has a tradition in any sport as strong as the one Oklahoma State has built in wrestling. That tradition began in 1916 when Edward Clark Gallagher, one of the men for whom Gallagher-Iba Arena is named, first took the reins of the Oklahoma A&M wrestling team and guided the Aggies on a rapid march to national prominence, leading them to their first NAAU title in 1925.

In 1928, the NCAA sponsored its first national tournament, and A&M shifted its emphasis toward winning that meet. Oklahoma State won the first NCAA wrestling championship and has won 33 such trophies since — more than any other school in the country. The Cowboys have won 942 dual meets, lost only 98 and tied 20 in 88 years of varsity competition. O-State clinched or shared an impressive 24 Big Eight titles out of a possible 38 while a member of the league from 1958 to 1996. Since joining the Big 12 for the 1996-97 season, OSU has claimed eight of the 11 titles. In the early years under coach Gallagher, the Oklahoma A&M squads won seven NAAU titles, six Southwest Conference titles and four Missouri Valley Conference titles.

Coach Gallagher passed away with pneumonia in 1940, leaving a legacy of 11 team championships behind, the most of any OSU coach, but his absence did not mean a decline in O-State’s wrestling fortunes. Six other coaches have worked hard to keep OSU at the top of the national wrestling charts. Art Griffith, the successful mentor at Tulsa (Okla.) Central High School, succeeded Gallagher in 1941 and captured two straight national titles before the war forced the Aggies to take three years off from the mat. Griffith resumed his winning ways in 1946, taking six more championships in his remaining 11 years of coaching.

A young Myron Roderick was named head coach in 1957, taking over for Griffith, who resigned due to health reasons. At 23, Roderick became the youngest coach to win a national collegiate championship when his 1958 Cowboys won the first of seven for him. He stepped down in 1970 and took an executive position with the U.S. Wrestling Federation, making way for former Stillwater (Okla.) High School coach Tommy Chesbro, who captured eight Big Eight titles and an NCAA championship during his 15-year tenure. From 1985 to 1991, Joe Seay, formerly at Cal State-Bakersfield, had five conference team champions and two national titles.

In 1993, a new era began as John Smith became the seventh head coach in Oklahoma State school history. In just two years, coach Smith once again led the Cowboys to the title, claiming OSU’s 30th NCAA championship. Adding national championships in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, Smith has led his alma mater to four of the last five NCAA crowns, and the Cowboys now have 34 NCAA team championships. That is more national titles than any other school has in any sport.

During the remarkable history of OSU wrestling, unbeaten streaks of 70 (1921-32 under Gallagher), 73 (1996-2000 under Smith), 76 (1937-51 under Gallagher and Griffith) and 84 (1959-66 under Roderick) duals were reeled off by the Cowboys.

1928: 125 - Harold DeMarsh
1928: 145 - Melvin Clodfelter
1928: 175 - George Rule
1928-30: HWT - Earl McCready
1929: 135 - George Bancroft
1929-31: 165 - Jack VanBebber
1929-31: 165, 175 - Conrad Caldwell
1931: 126 - Bobby Pearce
1931: 155 - Leroy McGuirk
1933-35: 118 - Rex Peery
1933-35: 126 - Ross Flood
1933-34: 145 - Alan Kelley
1935: 155 - Frank Lewis
1936: 145 - Harley “Doc” Strong
1937-39: 118, 121 - Joe McDaniel
1937-39: 145, 155 - Stanley Henson
1937: 165 - Harvey Base
1937: HWT - Loyd Ricks
1938: 155 - Dale Scriven
1939: HWT - John Harrell
1940-41: 136 - Al Whitehurst
1940,42: 155 - Vernon Logan
1941,42,46: 136, 145: David Arndt
1941: 155 - Earl VanBebber
1941-42: 165 - Virgil Smith
1942: HWT - Loyd Arms
1946: 175 - George Dorsch
1947,48,50: HWT - Richard Hutton
1948: 155 - Jack St. Clair
1949: 128 - Charles Hetrick
1949: 175 - Jim Gregson
1951-52: 137 - George Layman
1951: 177 - Grover Rains
1952,54: HWT - Gene Nicks
1953-54: 177 - Ned Blass
1954-56: 130, 137 - Myron Roderick
1955: 167 - Fred Davis
1957: 157 - Doug Blubaugh
1958-59: 157 - Dick Beattie
1958: 167 - Duane Murty
1959: HWT - Ted Ellis
1961: 157 - Phil Kinyon
1961-62: 177 - Bob Johnson
1962: 123 - Masaaki Hatta
1962: 167 - Ronnie Clinton
1964-66: 130 - Yojiro Uetake
1964: HWT - Joe James
1965: 115 - Tadaaki Hatta
1965: 191 - Jack Brisco
1966: 137 - Gene Davis
1966: 190 - Bill Harlow
1967: 177 - Fred Fozzard
1968,70: 123, 126 - Dwayne Keller
1970-71: 134, 142 - Darrell Keller
1970-71: 190 - Geoff Baum
1971: 126 - Yoshiro Fujita
1975: 167 - Ron Ray
1976-78: HWT - Jimmy Jackson
1977: 142 - Steve Barrett
1979: 190 - Eric Wais
1980: 142 - Lee Roy Smith
1980-81: 158 - Ricky Stewart
1983: 134 - Clar Anderson
1983-84: 167 - Mike Sheets
1984: 150 - Kenny Monday
1987-88: 134 - John Smith
1989: 126 - Kendall Cross
1990,92,94: 158 - Pat Smith
1989-90: 177 - Chris Barnes
1994: 142 - Alan Fried
1994,97: 167 - Mark Branch
1995: 190 - J.J. McGrew
1998: 118 - Teague Moore
1997-99: 126, 133 - Eric Guerrero
2001: 197 - Mark Muñoz
2002-03: 133 - Johnny Thompson
2003,05,06: 184, 197 - Jake Rosholt
2004-05: 174 - Chris Pendleton
2005: 149 - Zack Esposito
2005-06: 165 - Johny Hendricks
2005: HWT - Steve Mocco
2008: 133 - Coleman Scott

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