Michael Lightner is in his 10th year with the Sooners, joining the program as a coach on August 27, 2009 when he was named the program's assistant.
Lightner served as associate head coach for the 2016-17 season under then-head coach Mark Cody. He began his collegiate coaching career as a volunteer assistant during the 2008-09 season with the Sooners and club coach in 2007. His duties include recruiting for the program, directing the Oklahoma Open and summer camps, as well as training and instructing current Sooner wrestlers.
A product of Marlow, Okla., Lightner recorded one of the most impressive wrestling careers in Oklahoma history from 1998-2001. He claimed the national title in 2001 and was four times crowned Big 12 champion at 141 pounds.
Lightner became a four-time All-American, an honor only nine others in school history have claimed. He can be found in various school records, including second in career wins with a 144-16 record. His 37-0 record his senior season led him to the national title and he became the 13th Sooner to go undefeated in a season.
After his career with the Sooners, Lightner remained at OU as a club coach from 2001-2004 while training for international competition. During that three year stint, Oklahoma won the Big 12 conference title in 2002, claimed seven individual conference champions, 17 All-Americans and three national champions.
In 2005 Lightner moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., to focus on his international wrestling career. In 2005 he was crowned champion at U.S. Nationals and the World Team Trials and was named as a World Team member. The following year he was runner-up at U.S. Nationals and placed second at the U.S. World Team Trials.
Wrestling at Marlow High School, Lightner recorded a 130-1 overall record, capturing the state title all four years. The four-year letterman also claimed second at Junior Nationals.
He and his wife, Lindsey, are parents to Maya and Lincoln.