Oklahoma State wrestling’s John Smith Photo by NCAA
STILLWATER – Oklahoma State wrestling’s John Smith and Alex Dieringer each picked up annual Big 12 Conference awards as Smith was named 2016 Big 12 Coach of the Year and Dieringer was honored as 2016 Big 12 Wrestler of the Year.
Smith, who just wrapped up his 25th season at the helm of the program, led the Cowboys to a 13-3 season, the program’s 50th Big 12 title and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships New York City. He coached seven Pokes to individual Big 12 titles, including freshmen Joe Smith and Preston Weigel. Additionally, at the national tournament, he saw six Cowboys garner All-America honors, with two NCAA champions in Dean Heil and Dieringer.
The Oklahoma State legend is now 384-59-6 overall with 117 All-Americans and 41 national champions.
Dieringer sealed his spot in Oklahoma State history with an outstanding senior campaign. The Cowboy served up a 33-0 record this season, recording bonus points in all but six matches. His 27 bonus-point wins included 12 falls—10 of which came in the first period—eight major decisions and seven technical falls. He proved his dominance even more as he allowed only one takedown this season and just three takedowns the past two seasons.
To cap off a perfect season, Dieringer was named the 2016 recipient of the Dan Hodge Trophy, the “Heisman Trophy” of wrestling, which is given to the nation’s most dominant wrestler. He became only the second Cowboy to earn the prestigious award.
Dieringer wraps his career with an impressive 133-4 overall record and an 82-match win streak, dating back to January 2014. He leaves behind an impressive legacy at OSU as the 16th three-time NCAA champion after a convincing 6-2 win over Wisconsin’s Isaac Jordan in this year’s NCAA finals, the 14th four-time All-American and the seventh four-time conference champion at OSU.