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Magic in Stillwater: Oklahoma State Hires Penn State Wrestling Legend David Taylor

Graphic by Oklahoma State Wrestling: David Taylor

The most decorated performer in Penn State wrestling history is the new boss at Oklahoma State.

David Taylor, who many consider to be Cael Sanderson’s first big wrestling star at Penn State, is the new head coach at Oklahoma State, the school announced late Monday night.

Taylor will be succeeding the legendary John Smith, who retired this spring after more than three decades at the helm. Smith led Oklahoma State to five national titles during his tenure, and like Taylor, was an Olympic Gold medalist.

Smith is one of four wrestlers in history to win two Gold Medals. Taylor is one of six wrestlers to win two Hodge Trophies, doing so in 2012 and ‘14. After Penn State, Taylor  had an excellent freestyle career— which isn’t officially over yet.

He won three World Championships along with the 2021 Olympic Gold Medal in Tokyo.

Taylor aimed to match Smith with two Gold’s this summer, but a fellow Penn State wrestling legend got in the way.

He fell to Aaron Brooks twice in a row in a best of three series.

Taylor doesn’t have any experience on a college coaching staff but he does have experience training athletes. Taylor owns the M2 training center, which was founded by Taylor, per the center’s website, “to help wrestlers learn and achieve their goals on and off the mat.”

“When it comes to wrestling, David has a specific style, score points. Lots of them.”

“The curriculum, technique, and training are all based around what David has done in the past and what he is doing today as he pursues his own international wrestling goals.”

If Taylor can coach as well as he wrestlers, Sanderson’s wrestling empire may finally have a threat.

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