Blubaugh, James to be inducted into Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

Doug Blubaugh, Oklahoma State wrestling champ and 1960 Olympic gold medalist, and long-time University of Central Oklahoma wrestling coach David James, are among the honorees who will be welcomed into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Monday, Aug. 14.

The induction ceremony for the Class of 2017 will take place at the Riverwind Showplace Theater in Norman, Okla.

Doug Blubaugh
Douglas Morlan Blubaugh earned the gold medal in men's freestyle at 160.5 pounds at the 1960 Rome Olympics, then later was named outstanding wrestler in the world for that feat. The year before, the Tonkana, Okla. native won gold at the 1959 Pan-American Games in Chicago.

As a wrestler at Oklahoma State, Blubaugh was a three-time NCAA All-American, winning the 157-pound title at the 1957 NCAAs. In addition, Blubaugh won national AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) freestyle titles in 1957 and 1959.

After hanging up his singlet, Blubaugh turned to coaching, first as an assistant at Michigan State for seven years, then as head coach at Indiana University for a decade.

Blubaugh was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 1979. Sadly, he was killed in a motorcycle accident in his home town in May 2011.

David James has long been associated with wrestling at Central Oklahoma. The product of Del City wrestled at UOC, where he became the school's first four-time All-American and two-time national champion. Not long after graduating, James took over as head coach at his alma mater at age 24. Over the next 34 years at the helm, James let the Bronchos to 12 national team titles, with 48 individual national champs and 182 All-Americans. James parted ways with Central Oklahoma in 2016.

In addition to Blubaugh and James, other members of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 include University of Oklahoma standout quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jason White, Oklahoma State basketball great Bryant "Big Country" Reeves, Olympic decathlete Jeff Bennett, and pro baseball player Bill Greason.

Located in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame honors individuals who have accomplished greatness in athletics and have a close identification with the state of Oklahoma. Currently, 160 Oklahoma sports figures, and two "teams of legend" have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since it was established in 1986.


Login or Register to post a comment