In the first round of the NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, two head coaches sons’ will square off. Tom Ryan, head coach of Ohio State University, son, Jake, is an unseeded wrestler in the 157-pound weight class. John Smith, legendary coach at Oklahoma State, son, Joseph, enters the tournament with a sixth seed in the 157-pound weight bracket. The first session begins at noon, on Thursday, March 17, 2016. The first session includes pigtails and round one for each of the ten weight classes.
Smith (31-3), a True freshman stand out seeded sixth in the tournament. After having his red-shirt pulled midway through the season, Smith went on to win a Big 12 championship. Smith’s three losses come at the hands of No. 1 seed, and returning national champion, Isaiah Martinez, Penn State’s red-shirt freshman Jason Nolf, the No. 3 seed, and No. 5 seed from Cornell, Dylan Palacio. Smith does have a victory over the No. 7 seed out of South Dakota State, Cody Pack.
Ryan (17-5), finished sixth in the Big Ten Championships after falling to Edwin Cooper, Jr. of Iowa in the quarterfinals. Ryan went on to defeat Danishek of Indiana 8-5, then won a decision over Ruschell of Wisonsin 8-3, before being stopped by Michigan’s Brian Murphy via Fall at 5:25. Ryan fell short in the fifth place bout at the Big Ten Championships to Lewis of Rutgers in a decision 5-2.
Ryan’s father, Tom Ryan, guided the Buckeyes to the school’s first National Championship in their wrestling programs history. Ryan is in his tenth season at the helm of Ohio State. Since being the head coach, Ryan has coached four different wrestlers to eight national titles.
Smith, has been the head coach at Oklahoma State since 1992. Since being their coach, he has guided the Cowboys to five national titles, ten-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, and has coached 26 individual national champions. He has also be the coach of the USA Olympic Wrestling team and the USA World Championships team.
The NCAA DI wrestling championships comes to the Madison Square Garden for the first time in the 137-year history of the Garden. The first session begins today at noon, and is followed by the second session this evening at 7 p.m. EST. Winner of this bout between Joe Smith and Jake Ryan advances to wrestle tonight in the championship bracket, and the loser heads down to the consolation bracket to wrestle back to third place.
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).