Oklahoma scene: Oklahoma State's John Smith named Big 12 wrestling coach of the year

From Staff Reports Published: March 27, 2014
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photo - Oklahoma State coach John Smith goes between matches during the 2014 NCAA Div. 1 Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State coach John Smith goes between matches during the 2014 NCAA Div. 1 Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

John Smith of Oklahoma State was named Big 12 Wrestling Coach of the Year on Thursday in a vote of league coaches.

Smith has won the award two consecutive years and four out of the last five. The Olympic gold medalist — and former Del City High and Oklahoma State great — guided the Cowboys to a second-straight Big 12 crown this season. OSU finished third at the recent NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City.

Smith just finished his 23rd season as OSU coach. The program has 28 individual national champions; 107 All-Americans; 88 conference titlists; and five national team championships under Smith.

TULSA DISMISSES TWO PLAYERS

Defensive end Dalton Rodriguez no longer is a member of the University of Tulsa football team, Golden Hurricane coach Bill Blankenship confirmed to the Tulsa World following a spring practice at H.A. Chapman Stadium. “He was dismissed for (having committed) a violation of team rules,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship added that Michael Sorrels, who would have been a junior running back this year, also has been dismissed from the program for having committed an unspecified violation of team policy.

As a Tulsa Union senior, Rodriguez committed first to Oklahoma and then reconsidered, announcing that he instead would sign with the Hurricane.

ROSE STATE HIRES COACHES

Rose State Junior College in Midwest City hired coaches for its new varsity soccer programs. Billy Martin will lead the men’s team, and Damon Solomon will head the women’s squad. Martin has collegiate experience, serving as an assistant at NAIA power Oklahoma City. Solomon spent six seasons as head women’s coach at Neosho Community College.

ELSEWHERE

•Oklahoma Baptist University’s spring football game is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 5. OBU was 3-8 last season, its first varsity campaign since 1940. The Bison will open the home portion of its season Sept. 13 against Missouri Baptist.