Report: John Smith to be first wrestler in Oklahoma Hall of Fame

John Smith recently completed his 29th season as Oklahoma State's head wrestling coach (Photo/Mark Lundy,

A wrestling wrong is about to be made right, as legendary wrestler and Oklahoma State head coach John Smith is about to become the first inductee with impressive wrestling credentials to be welcomed into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in its 92-year history… in a state that is truly one of the hottest of the amateur wrestling hotbeds in the nation.

Last year, Seth Duckworth, who pens the "Pistols Firing" blog which covers Oklahoma State sports, wrote that the Oklahoma Hall of Fame had never inducted any Oklahoma individual with hall-of-fame-worthy credentials -- including giants in the sport from the state, including John Smith, 1950s Oklahoma Sooner mat superstar Dan Hodge, and Ed Gallagher, pioneering Oklahoma State wrestling coach from World War I to World War II. By contrast, a number of former athletes have been welcomed into the Oklahoma City-based Hall -- including, just last year, former football stars turned politicians Steve Largent and J.C. Watts - installed just last May.

That oversight appears about to be righted.

In anticipation of the time the Hall normally reveals its annual class of nominees, Duckworth shared a "Sneak Peek" tweet last Friday from the Oklahoma Hall of Fame which featured a photo of John Smith. Sources have confirmed that Coach Smith is expected to be announced as a part of the 2020 class this Thursday.

Stay tuned.


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ban basketball (1) about 1 year ago
Given the fact that when I think "state with world class athletes" and Oklahoma never coming to mind in association with that thought, it does seem like just a tad bit of oversight to have not included Smith at this point.