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John William Smith (born August 9, 1965)[1] is an American folkstyle and freestyle wrestler and coach. He is a two-time NCAA Division I national champion, and a six-time world and Olympic champion. As of June 2019, he has won more world-level gold medals in wrestling than any other American.[2]

John Smith
Personal information
Full nameJohn William Smith
BornAugust 9, 1965 (1965-08-09) (age 54)
Del City, Oklahoma, U.S.


Wrestling careerEdit


Smith attended Oklahoma State University, where he competed in folkstyle wrestling. At Oklahoma State University, he became an NCAA Division I national runner-up, and a two-time national champion. Smith's college career record was 154-7-2.


Beginning in his teenage years, Smith competed internationally in freestyle wrestling. Highlights of his career include four UWW world gold medals, and two Olympic gold medals. At the Senior level (ages 20 and up) his international freestyle wrestling record was 100-5. He won 6 consecutive world championships as a competitor.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

Smith became the head wrestling coach at Oklahoma State University in 1991. During his tenure, Oklahoma State University won five NCAA Division I national team titles, with titles coming in 1994, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. As of 2019, his overall dual meet record was 426-62-6.[4] He had also coached 32 NCAA Division I individual national champions, and coached his wrestlers to 129 All-America honors.[5]

Awards and honorsEdit

Other honorsEdit


Smith's older brother Lee Roy Smith and younger brother Pat Smith are NCAA Division I national champions. Smith's youngest brother, Mark, was also a successful NCAA Division I wrestler, having placed in the top five nationally three times. Smith's nephews Mark Perry and Chris Perry are also NCAA Division I national champions. His nephew J.T. Realmuto is an all-star Major League Baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies.[6]

See alsoEdit


  • Dellinger, Bob & Doris. 1994. The Cowboys Ride Again. Oklahoma Bylines Inc. ISBN 978-1-882336-04-3
  • Zavoral, Nolan. 1997. A Season on the Mat. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-84787-0
  • Hammond, Jairus K. 2005. The History of Collegiate Wrestling. National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. ISBN 978-0-9765064-0-9
  • Moffat, James V. 2007. Wrestlers At The Trials. Exit Zero Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9799051-0-0
  • Parrish, Kim D. 2007. Cowboy Up. Oklahoma Heritage Association. ISBN 978-1-885596-61-1


External linksEdit