FROM THE OSU ATHLETICS OFFICE
Next Up For Cowboy Wrestling
2008 NCAA Championships
March 20-22, 2008
Scottrade Center (St. Louis, Mo.)
Television: ESPNU (quarterfinals until finals) -AND- ESPN (finals)
Radio: KSPI 93.7 FM (Rex Holt and Roger Moore)
Internet Audio: www.okstate.com
The Oklahoma State wrestling team (16-3-1 overall) goes after its 35th NCAA crown when the Cowboys compete at the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis from March 20-22.
The Cowboy Contingent
Oklahoma State will be represented by eight wrestlers at the NCAA Championships, as 125-pounder Tyler Shinn, 133-pounder Coleman Scott, 141-pounder Nathan Morgan, 157 pounder Newly McSpadden, 165-pounder Jake Dieffenbach, 174-pounder Brandon Mason, 184-pounder Jack Jensen and heavyweight Jared Rosholt will all be in action.
On The Air
Rex Holt and Roger Moore will handle the call on 93.7 KSPI FM radio. The broadcast will be carried live worldwide via the internet on the official web site of OSU athletics, www.okstate.com.
ESPNU will televise from the quarterfinal round until the final round, with the broadcast switching over to ESPN for the finals.
NCAA Wrestling Championship Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 20
11 a.m. – Session I: Scottrade Center
6:30 p.m. – Session II: Scottrade Center
Friday, March 21
10 a.m. – Session III: Scottrade Center
6 p.m. – Session IV: Scottrade Center
Saturday, March 22
10 a.m. – Session V: Scottrade Center
7:30 p.m. – Session VI: Scottrade Center
OSU’s Championship Pedigree
No matter how you look at it, Oklahoma State wrestling is the premier athletic team in all of NCAA Division I sports, as the Cowboy grapplers boast a record 34 NCAA team championships and have won four of the last five NCAA titles.
Through the years, Oklahoma State wrestlers have combined to win 132 individual NCAA championships and have earned All-America honors 418 times.
OSU’s John Smith: College Wrestling’s Winningest Active Coach
Under coach John Smith, Oklahoma State has won five NCAA team championships (1994, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). No other active coach has won more than three NCAA team championships. Minnesota’s J Robinson led the Gophers to NCAA titles in 2001, 2002 and 2007 and Oregon State’s Jim Zalesky won three national championships while coaching Iowa in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
No active coach has mentored more individual national champions than Smith, who has produced 22 NCAA individual champs. The next closest coach is Robinson with 11 champions, despite coaching in seven more NCAA meets.
Smith’s Wrestlers Perform At The Highest Level
The most successful active coach, John Smith also ranks among one of the all-time great coaches in the sport. In his 15 trips to the NCAA Championships, Smith has coached 80 All-Americans for an average of 5.33 All-Americans per year. His per-year average ranks second all-time only to former Iowa coach Dan Gable, who coached 7.24 All-Americans per year during his career.
Smith is one of only eight coaches ever to average more than one individual national champion per year, with his average of 1.47 champs per year trailing only Ed Gallagher (2.85 per year), Dan Gable (2.14 per year), Art Griffith (2.08 per year) and Myron Roderick (1.54 per year).
Scott Can Join Short List Of Four-Time All-Americans
Oklahoma State senior 133-pounder Coleman Scott has been the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class nearly all season and is a strong contender to win his first NCAA individual championship this year after placing second last year.
Though an individual NCAA title has eluded him to this point, Scott has a chance to go down as one of the greats in Oklahoma State’s storied history because should he earn All-America honors this year, he would become only the 12th Cowboy ever to be a four-time All-American. The previous 11:
Name Year Place
Johny Hendricks, 157-65 2004-07 5-1-1-2
Jake Rosholt, 184-97 2003-06 1-3-1-1
Johnny Thompson, 133 2001-04 2-1-1-3
Tyrone Lewis, 165-174 2001-04 5-3-5-2
Eric Guerrero, 126 1996-99 5-1-1-1
Mark Branch, 167 1994-97 1-2-2-1
Pat Smith, 158 1990-92, 94 1-1-1-1
Kirk Mammen, hwt 1989-92 6-6-5-8
Mike Sheets, 167 1981-84 7-2-1-1
Ricky Stewart, 158 1979-82 7-1-1-3
Richard Hutton, hwt 1947-50 1-1-2-1
Scott, Morgan Are All-Americans Multiple Times Over
In addition to Coleman Scott, who earned All-America honors by placing eighth in 2005, fifth in 2006 and second in 2007, OSU 141-pounder Nathan Morgan has a chance to become a three-time All-American. Morgan took sixth at the NCAA Championships in 2006 before placing fourth in 2007.
Mason A Returning All-American As Well
As seniors and four-year starters with five All-America honors between them, Coleman Scott and Nathan Morgan receive most of the attention for the Cowboys, but 174-pounder Brandon Mason is a force for OSU as well. Mason was a 2007 All-American after placing fifth at the NCAA Championships and is capable of making a similar run this year.
Jared Rosholt: 2008 Big 12 Heavyweight Champion
Oklahoma State’s top performer at the Big 12 Championship was 285-pounder Jared Rosholt, who pinned Nebraska’s Jon May and beat No. 5 Jared Zabriskie of Iowa State to win the 2008 Big 12 heavyweight championship. In doing so, Rosholt became the 23rd conference heavyweight champion in school history and joined Steve Mocco (2005, 2006), Willie Gruenwald (2003) and Ben Lee (1998) as Cowboys to have won Big 12 heavyweight titles since the conference formed in 1996-97.
Rosholt Has The Hot Hand
Jared Rosholt enters the NCAA Championship on a roll. The Sandpoint, Idaho native has won 14 of his last 15 bouts, with five of those wins coming over ranked opponents. On the year, Rosholt ties Nathan Morgan for the team lead with a 29-3 record. He also tied Coleman Scott with an 18-2 dual match record to go with his team-high 70 dual match points and six pins.
From The St. Louis Area, Dieffenbach’s Time Has Come
One of the best stories in college wrestling this year is that of Oklahoma State 165-pounder Jake Dieffenbach, who came to OSU after graduating from Lindenwood University with a year of eligibility remaining in a career that saw him win two NAIA individual titles with the Lions.
Dieffenbach sent letters out to coaches all around the country asking for a chance to wrestle his last year while in graduate school, and Oklahoma State’s John Smith was the only one to give him the chance. A native of House Springs, Mo., which is only 30 miles from St. Louis, Dieffenbach has a legitimate chance to make a deep run with the NCAAs in his backyard.
Dieffenbach entered the Big 12 Championship ranked fifth in the nation at 165 pounds and has eight wins over ranked opponents to his credit this year. At two separate points of the season, Dieffenbach was honored as TheMat.com’s Wrestler of the Week and the Big 12 Wrestler of the Week.
Jensen A Giant Killer
Senior 184-pounder Jack Jensen is a wrestler who has proven that he should not be overlooked by anyone, regardless of what the rankings indicate. Jensen owns a pair of wins over top-five opponents this year, making him one of only four Cowboys who can make that claim this year. The other three? Three-time All-American Coleman Scott, two-time NAIA champion Jake Dieffenbach and 2008 Big 12 champion Jared Rosholt.
Jensen knocked off fifth-ranked Roger Kish of Minnesota as part of the Cowboys’ 18-14 win over the Golden Gophers on Feb. 3, then came back to beat No. 5 Raymond Jordan of Missouri in the third place match of the Big 12 Championship. In addition to those two wins, Jensen avenged an earlier loss to No. 13 Vince Jones of Nebraska by handing him a 3-2 loss in the pigtail round of the Big 12 Championship.
Shinn Has Been Down This Road Before
Making his second appearance in the NCAA Championships is 125-pounder Tyler Shinn, who punched his ticket to NCAAs by finishing as the Big 12 runner-up.
A native of Newkirk, Okla., Shinn recorded an escape and a takedown in the tiebreak period to claim a 4-2 win over 15th-ranked Joey Fio of Oklahoma in the Big 12 semifinals. That win not only pushed Shinn into the NCAA Championship, but it also avenged a loss to Fio in the final regular-season dual of the year.
Shinn scored the first takedown of the conference title bout against reigning national champion Paul Donahoe of Nebraska, but couldn’t hold on as Donahoe rallied to claim a 7-4 win.
McSpadden Has Momentum, Fresh Legs
After missing the entire month of February with a nagging injury, Cowboy 157-pounder Newly McSpadden returned to the lineup for the Big 12 Championship and showed that fresh legs can be a difference-maker, as he pinned Nebraska’s Chris Oliver in the pigtail round then took 12th-ranked Michael Chandler of Missouri to a sudden victory period in the semifinals before losing.
Knowing he needed to win in the third-place match to get into the NCAA field, he stormed through Oliver with a 7-1 victory.
Big 12 Championship Not The End Goal
Of the eight Oklahoma State wrestlers competing at the 2008 NCAA Championship, Jared Rosholt was the only one to win a Big 12 individual title this year.
However, OSU history clearly illustrates that he is not the only one with a chance to win an NCAA title, as 13 former Cowboys did not win individual conference titles, but went on to win their respective weight classes at the NCAA Championships. The list:
1961: Bob Johnson (177 pounds)
1970: Darrell Keller (134 pounds)
1970: Geoff Baum (190 pounds)
1981: Ricky Stewart (158 pounds)
1983: Clar Anderson (134 pounds)
1984: Kenny Monday (150 pounds)
1994: Mark Branch (167 pounds)
1997: Eric Guerrero (126 pounds)
1998: Eric Guerrero (126 pounds)
2003: Jake Rosholt (184 pounds)
2004: Chris Pendleton (174 pounds)
2005: Jake Rosholt (197 pounds)
2006: Jake Rosholt (197 pounds)