|Wrestling Hall of Fame Distinguished Member biography - Pat Smith|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Pat Smith, the first four-time NCAA Div. I champion, who now resides in Stillwater, Okla., has been elected as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Pat Smith joins his older brother John Smith, a two-time Olympic champion and four-time World Champion, as a Distinguished Member.
Smith made wrestling history when he became the first wrestler to win four NCAA Div. I individual national championships. Competing for Oklahoma State Univ., he captured NCAA titles in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994, all at 158 pounds. He was a member of Oklahoma State teams that won the NCAA team titles in 1990 and 1994.
When Smith won the NCAA title as a freshman, he joined his older brothers Lee Roy and John as an NCAA titlist, making it the first time that three brothers had won NCAA Div. I wrestling titles. During his career, Smith won four Big 12 Conference titles, only the third wrestler in Oklahoma State history to win four conference crowns.
He was named Outstanding Wrestler at the 1994 NCAA Championships, held in Chapel Hill, N.C., the year he won his record fourth title.
What made Smith's achievement even more remarkable was the tremendous pressure he endured as he approached his record fourth title. All of the eyes of the wrestling community and the college sports world were on Smith, as he attempted to do something that had never been achieved. Smith won a number of close, competitive bouts during his NCAA Championships appearances, showing the kind of heart and character of a champion. When he defeated Sean Bormet of Michigan in the 1994 NCAA finals at the Smith Center on the campus of the Univ. of North Carolina, he received a tremendous standing ovation from the crowd.
He ended his college wrestling career with a 121-5-2 record. He set the Oklahoma State wrestling record for consecutive matches without a loss with 98 straight. He ranks fourth in winning percentage (.953), fourth in career falls (46) and sixth in victories (121) in the storied history of Oklahoma State wrestling.
Smith has received numerous major awards during his career. He was named the 1994 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year. Smith was also one of just 15 athletes who were named to the 75th NCAA Anniversary Wrestling Team. He was inducted into the Oklahoma State Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
He also had a successful freestyle wrestling career, which included taking second place to three-time Olympian Kenny Monday at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Spokane, Wash. He won gold medals at two U.S. Olympic Festivals. Smith was second in the 1995 U.S. Nationals, and was a six-time All-American at the U.S. Nationals. He won a bronze medal at the 1997 World Cup. He also won USA Wrestling age-group national titles on the Espoir and Junior levels.
He has served as an assistant wrestling coach at Oklahoma State Univ. for 10 years. He has helped build the Cowboys into one of the nation's best programs, working with head coach John Smith. He has worked with the middle weight wrestlers on the Cowboy team, and has personally coached six wrestlers to individual or multiple NCAA titles. Oklahoma State has won the NCAA Div. I team title the last three years with Smith serving as one of the coaches (2003-2005).
Smith won three Oklahoma state high school titles for Del City High School (1987-89), and was twice named Outstanding Wrestler. A member of one of the nation's top wrestling families, four Smith brothers were NCAA All-Americans for Oklahoma State (Lee Roy, John, Pat, Mark) and all four were state high school champions.