John Smith Wrestling Camps

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK 74078


"We have designed our Oklahoma State Wrestling Camps for wrestlers of various ages and skill levels. Wrestlers will be divided into small groups to receive personalized instruction throughout the week. Our dedicated staff and other coaches will serve as counselors. You will get the individual attention necessary to help you develop and enhance you skills.
Campers will be taught a style of wrestling that has helped me and the OSU wrestlers reach our highest goals. Wrestling is not a sport of brute strength nor isolated holds, so you must have a systematic approach to maximize the effectiveness of your attacks. Emphasis will be placed on learning high percentage takedown techniques. Leg attack set-ups and finishes will be taught thoroughly in an easy to understand fashion.
From the bottom position, the primary focus will be on stand-up, the safest and most effective method of scoring from the bottom. Other escapes and mat wrestling will be covered as well. From the top position, we will teach a series of different rides, breakdowns and turns.
All the different skills and techniques taught will be drilled repetitively, so you can learn them, remember them, and be able to perform them in live matches. We will structure drills to help you become the best wrestler you can be. I am confident that with a structured series of techniques sessions, and closely supervised drill sessions, you will be able to score with your techniques on the way to reaching your highest goals.

Everyone competes in dual meets and Mondays closing tournament. Awards go to the top three teams and to the top three place winners in the tournament. Last year's camp drew 41 teams from 23 states. Each individual could wrestle 16 matches--a whole season in one week! Coaches, come and learn the same techniques as your athletes. You coach your own wrestlers in competition. Teams and/or individuals may be combined to make up teams for camp.

At Oklahoma State University, we are committed to helping you become great! This camp will give you the opportunity to train the way you must train to become the best that you can be. Train side-by-side with the greatest wrestler in American history. The intensive training camp consists of four workouts a day for 10 days, including running and weightlifting.

About Our Coaches

John Smith

John Smith is a name synonymous with wrestling success.

The Oklahoma State head coach won six consecutive world championships as a competitor from 1987-92, including gold medals at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Additionally, he owns five national championships as head coach of the Cowboys.

Entering his 28th year, Smith accepted the head coaching position at Oklahoma State in 1992, and the numbers and accomplishments since that time speak for themselves. He led his alma mater to NCAA team titles in 1994, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, and has coached 32 NCAA individual champions and five Olympians. Under his watch, the Cowboys have brought 20 team conference tournament championships, two Big 12 regular season titles and 114 individual conference titles back to Stillwater. His student-athletes have earned All-America recognition 129 times, an average of 4.8 All-America honorees per year. Smith also has coached two Hodge Trophy recipients in Alex Dieringer and Steve Mocco.

He was recognized as the National Wrestling Coaches Association coach of the year in 1994 and 2003 and is a 15-time selection as his conference’s coach of the year (1994 and 1996 in the Big Eight and 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the Big 12).

Most recently, Smith has led his squad to six consecutive Big 12 tournament titles, with four Cowboys crowned Big 12 champions in 2018.

Last season saw the Cowboys finish with a 13-2 dual record and qualify nine for the NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, with Kaid Brock (133), Boo Lewallen (149), Chandler Rogers (165) and Jacobe Smith (174) taking home All-America honors.

A native of Del City, Okla., Smith owns a 411-62-6 career dual match record as a head coach (.864 winning pct.).

The Pokes took a full squad to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis in 2017, where Dean Heil finished off an undefeated season at 32-0 to take home his second-straight NCAA title at 141 pounds.

Joining Heil on the podium were seven other Cowboys, tying a program record: Nick Piccininni (4th, 125), Kaid Brock (5th, 133), Joe Smith (4th 157), Chandler Rogers (5th, 165), Kyle Crutchmer (7th, 174), Nolan Boyd (6th, 184) and Preston Weigel (6th, 197). Brock and Piccininni combined to become the first pair of Cowboy freshmen to notch fifth-place-or-better finishes in the same year since 2001.

The Cowboys finished the 2017 national tournament in third despite scoring 103 team points to mark the 12th time that an OSU wrestling team has surpassed 100 points at the event, wrapping up a campaign that saw the Pokes go 14-1 in dual action.

Smith led OSU to four consecutive NCAA team championships from 2003 through 2006.

The 2003 squad compiled a perfect 17-0 dual meet record, won the Big 12 team title, crowned six individual Big 12 champions and featured a pair of NCAA individual champions in Johnny Thompson and Jake Rosholt.

Under the leadership of NCAA champion Chris Pendleton, the 2004 team garnered a 17-2 dual meet record, won the Big 12 team title, crowned four individual Big 12 champions.

Under Smith’s instruction, Oklahoma State compiled a 21-0 dual meet record in 2005 and capped the season with one of the most dominant showings in the history of the NCAA Championships when an NCAA-record five Cowboys were crowned as NCAA champions. Zack Esposito won at 149.Johny Hendricks took the 165 championship. Pendleton repeated as an NCAA champion at 174. Jake Rosholt claimed the title at 197, and Steve Mocco brought home the heavyweight championship. OSU wrestlers compiled a 38-9 record at the NCAA Championships that year, and the Cowboys set school records for points, margin of victory and national champions. Oklahoma State scored 153 team points to top second-place Michigan by 70 points.

Smith and the Cowboys were 16-2 in dual meets en route to claiming their fourth consecutive NCAA team title in 2006, led by Hendricks and Rosholt, who both claimed their second consecutive NCAA individual championships.

The first of Smith’s five NCAA team championships was won in 1994, when the Cowboys compiled a 13-1 dual meet record, won the Big 8 team championship, crowned four individual Big 8 champions and three NCAA individual champions in Alan Fried, Mark Branch and Smith’s younger brother and the first-ever four-time NCAA champion, Pat Smith.

For all of the championships and success he continues to enjoy as a coach, it is his career as a wrestler that is the stuff of legend. Smith was the best wrestler in the world.

In brief, Smith compiled a 105-5 record as a high school wrestler at Del City High School in Del City, Okla., before moving on to Oklahoma State, where he put together a 152-8-2 collegiate record that included a pair of NCAA individual championships in 1987 and 1988. He was a three-time All-America selection at OSU in 1985, 1987 and 1988. On the international stage, Smith rolled to a 100-5 career record that included six world championships (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992), two Olympic gold medals (1988 and 1992), two Pan-American Games gold medals (1987 and 1991) and two Goodwill Games gold medals (1986 and 1990).

To this day, Smith holds Oklahoma State school records for career victories (152), single-season victories (47 in 1988), career bonus-point wins (113), single-season bonus point wins (39 in both 1987 and 1988) and single-season bonus point win percentage (90.7 in 1987). A three-time Big Eight Conference individual champion in 1985, 1987 and 1988, Smith wrestled primarily at 134 during his collegiate career, where he strung together a 124-4 overall record. He also competed at 126, compiling a 27-4-2 overall mark and won his lone career match at 142.

After Smith’s junior year at Oklahoma State, he won the first of his six world championships in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Smith was the only collegiate wrestler to win a world championship while still in school until 2017 when Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) claimed a title in Paris. Following his graduation in 1988, Smith qualified for the U.S. Olympic freestyle team and came away from the Seoul Olympics with the first of his two Olympic gold medals and the second of his six consecutive world titles.

Three more world championships followed (1989, 1990 and 1991) before Smith claimed the second of his Olympic gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona games to cement his legacy as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.

His list of awards and honors certainly befits someone who earned the distinction of being the best wrestler on the planet. Smith was the first wrestler to be voted as the James E. Sullivan Award winner as America’s outstanding amateur athlete when he won the award in 1990. He was the first American chosen as the Master of Technique and Wrestler of the Year by the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) when he received the honor in 1990. In 1992, he was presented with the Amateur Athletic Foundation’s World Trophy. A 2003 inductee into the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame, a distinguished member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and a 1997 inductee into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Smith was recognized as one of the 100 Greatest Olympians of All Time at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Smith was the 1991 selection as FILA’s Outstanding Wrestler of the Year after earning Man of the Year honors from Amateur Wrestling News in 1988, Athlete of the Year recognition from USA Wrestling in 1989 and Sportsman of the Year honors from the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1990.

In 2004, Smith was presented with the Titan Award by the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the next year, he joined his brother Pat as one of 15 wrestlers named to the NCAA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

The Smith family legacy is strong at Oklahoma State, as John’s older brother Lee Roy was a three-time All-American in 1977, 1979 and 1980 and claimed the 1980 national title. John was a three-time All-American in 1985, 1987 and 1988 with a pair of national titles in 1987 and 1988, and younger brother Pat was a four-time All-American with four national championships in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994.

Smith has also successfully established a wrestling club that allows wrestlers from across the country to prepare and train for international competition. The Gator Wrestling Club sent three former Oklahoma State wrestlers to compete in the 2004 Olympic Games. Jamill Kelly won the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, with Daniel Cormier finishing fourth and Eric Guerrero also representing the USA in Athens.

Camp Details

June 16-20 (Stillwater)
Typical Schedule
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast
5:00-6:00 pm Dinner
9:00-10:30 am Instruction
7:00-9:00 pm Instruction
11:30-12:30 pm Lunch
10:30 pm In Rooms
1:00-3:00 pm Instruction
11:00 pm Lights Out

June 20-24 (Stillwater)

June 16-25 (Stillwater)
Typical Schedule
6:30-7:30 Distance runs, sprints, sprint-jogs, stairs, etc.
7:30-8:30 Breakfast
10:30-12:00 Technique sessions-training, drilling, learning new skills.
12:00-1:00 Lunch
3:00-5:00 Practice-hard wrestling, hard drilling, conditioning exercises.
5:00-600 Dinner
7:00-9:00 Lifting, technique session or film.
10:30 In Rooms
11:00 Lights out