NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma Wrestling head coach Jack Spates was today named the Co-Big 12 Coach of the Year along with John Smith of Oklahoma State. Spates earns the honor, voted on by the league coaches, for the third time in his career.
“I am extremely excited and grateful,” said head coach Jack Spates. “I am very grateful to my staff who I share this honor with because of their hard work and devotion to our program as well.”
The Sooners turned in a second place finish at the Big 12 Championships in Ames, Iowa, with Sam Hazewinkel winning the 125-pound title and Teyon Ware, Matt Storniolo and Jake Hager all claiming second place finishes. In the process the Sooners qualified eight wrestlers for the NCAA Championships.
At the NCAA Championships, the Sooners finished in third place behind Oklahoma State and Minnesota. Ware finished as the national runner-up (141).
“I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of student-athletes who I can also share this award with. My kids are extremely talented on and off the mat and they are the ones who make these awards possible,” continued Spates.
Spates has led the Sooner grapplers to top three finishes four out of the last five years.
Spates was also named the 2002 Big 12 Coach of the Year and the 1999 Co-Big 12 Coach of the Year following Big 12 Championships both seasons.
This is the second coach of the year award for Spates this week. Following the conclusion of the NCAA Championships Spates was named the 2006 NWCA Coach of the Year by the NWCA.
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a professional organization dedicated to serve and provide leadership for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on scholastic and collegiate programs. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.
Spates has an overall career record of 307-90-8 and a record of 183-74-7 while at OU. Prior to coming to Norman Spates was the head coach at Cornell from 1988-93, and has been at the helm of the Sooners since 1993.