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Lee Roy Smith Sr. passes away

Lee Roy Smith Sr., father of Oklahoma State head coach John Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Lee Roy Smith Jr., four-time NCAA champion Pat Smith and three-time All-American Mark Smith, passed away on Sunday evening … just as the Cowboys were winning the 2019 Big 12 Wrestling Championships, their 53rd conference crown. He was 85.

Lee Roy Smith (Photo/National Wrestling Hall of Fame)
Lee Roy Smith Sr. had suffered a stroke earlier last week.

"Tough day," John Smith said after his team had won the Big 12 title in Tulsa Sunday. "But the last thing he asked when he could speak was, he was concerned about the Big 12 tournament. What a great run. A great father, a father of 10. He has about 50 grandchildren, about 15 great-grandchildren. I was lucky to have a father that cared."

John Smith watched most of Oklahoma State's seven championship matches from the tunnel, rather than in the corner of the mat, letting his assistants handle the on-mat coaching, according to The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma City daily newspaper.

Lee Roy Smith Jr. shared this message on the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's social media pages:

"On behalf of my mother, my sisters, my brothers and all of our large family, it is with profound sadness and yet great joy that we share that our beloved father Lee Roy Smith passed into the arms of the angels this evening. He not only practiced his faith, but truly lived it as a shining example of love, loyalty, compassion and service, not only to his family but to all who knew him. We ask for your prayers for him and for all of us who will miss him so dearly. Funeral arrangements are being made and will be shared as soon as they are finalized."

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Coach Sig (1) a week and a half ago
Prayers for the entire Smith Family! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻