InterMat picks Smith 2013 Coach of the Year

John Smith and Jordan Oliver embrace at the 2013 NCAAs (Photo/Simon Jimenez,
John Smith, who led his Oklahoma State wrestlers to within four points of denying Penn State its third straight NCAA Division I team title, has been chosen InterMat Coach of the Year for 2013.

It's the second time the Cowboys' head coach has won the award, selected in a vote of writers and executives from Smith took the website's inaugural Coach of the Year honor in 2006.

In balloting for the award, Smith earned a total of 61 points, including four first-place votes. In second place was last year's winner, Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson, who garnered 43 points, and three first-place votes. Taking third in the balloting was The Citadel's Rob Hjerling, with 35 points, and two votes for first place. Also receiving a first-place vote was Kevin Jackson of Iowa State, who placed fifth in the overall voting.

Smith guided Oklahoma State to an impressive 20-1 overall record this season (the one loss being to Minnesota at the 2013 National Duals finals). The Cowboys concluded the season with the Big 12 team title, grabbing eight of ten individual championships.

2013 InterMat Coach of the Year
1st-5th-Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)

1. John Smith, Oklahoma St., 61 (4)
2. Cael Sanderson, Penn St., 43 (3)
3. Rob Hjerling, The Citadel, 35 (2)
4. J Robinson, Minnesota, 27
5. Kevin Jackson, Iowa St., 24 (1)
6. Brian Smith, Missouri, 22
7. Rob Koll, Cornell, 11
8. Jim Zalesky, Oregon St., 9
9. Doug Schwab, Northern Iowa, 8
10. Jim Heffernan, Illinois, 4
11. John Stutzman, Bloomsburg, 2
12. Tom Brands, Iowa, 1
12. Kevin Dresser, Virginia Tech, 1
"At the beginning of the season John Smith was vocal in stating he did not see his starting lineup as a title contender. And yet, the Cowboys came shockingly close to winning a 35th NCAA title, finishing behind Penn State by only four points," said InterMat's Tom Franck. "John Smith's wrestlers were remarkably consistent throughout the season and yet still managed to peak when it counted the most. At the NCAAs he Cowboys not only demonstrated superb technique but stellar strategy and tactics which helped them win a high number of close matches in the later rounds. Without a doubt, a big part of their success up and down the lineup must be attributed to the legendary head coach of the program."

Smith joins Cael Sanderson and Ohio State's Tom Ryan as second two-time InterMat Coach of the Year award winners. Other past honorees include Cornell's Rob Koll, and Mike Denney, former coach of the now-defunct University of Nebraska-Omaha mat program, and current coach of Maryville.


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jammen (1) about 5 years ago
12. Tom Brands, Iowa, 1

Someone voted for Tom Brands as Coach of the Year? Was this the same guy who wrote that Iowa had 5 title contenders?
mrh16 (1) about 5 years ago
No, one person voted for Tom Brands in 5th place. It looks like there are 10 voters and each voter picks 1st through 5th place which are assigned 9-7-5-3-1 "votes" or "points", respectively.
SetonHallPirate (1) about 5 years ago
Not sure who you are referring to, but I did not have Brands anywhere on my ballot.
DannyClarke (1) about 5 years ago
I feel like it would've been worth mentioning John coached all 10 guys to the national tournament, 7 to AA honors and 2 to national titles this year.

He definitely exceeded the expectations most had for this roster.
TheSwayz (1) about 5 years ago
So Mike Denney got enough votes to get it in the past(was that just because of the factor of losing the DII program?) I am surprised that someone like Coach Miller from Wartburg didn't get a vote or even Mark Bauer of UNK or Joe Renfro of Labette who all had repeat team champs.
Dean20 (1) about 5 years ago
I'll post this again because it somehow got deleted. What does Cael Sanderson have to do to win this "award"? Here's a guy who gets his team thru the toughest league and has them all primed and ready for the big time. And he comes thru for the 3rd time in a row. Smith is a good coach with a very talented team but Ok. St underachieved last year and now Smith is being rewarded for improving to where he should have been the last two years.