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|Tyrone Lewis joins coaching staff at Oklahoma City Univ.|
By Rich Tortorelli OCU
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City University has hired U.S. Olympic wrestling hopeful Tyrone Lewis to be an assistant coach with its new wrestling program.
Lewis comes to OCU from Stillwater, Okla., where he coached for youth club wrestling programs. Lewis, from El Reno, Okla., currently stands No. 2 at 163 pounds (74 kilos) on the U.S. Freestyle National Team.
For Lewis, this new job means a fulfillment of a career goal.
"It's been a longtime ambition of mine to come out, coach and compete," Lewis said. "I feel like there's no limit to how high we can go. I feel privileged and honored to be accepted in this position. I want to thank the athletic department and the university. I'm overjoyed right now."
Lewis had a decorated wrestling career at Oklahoma State for coach John Smith. Lewis was a four-time NCAA all-American, two-time Big 12 champion, Big 12 wrestler of the year and an NCAA runner-up at 165 and 174 pounds from 1999-2004. Lewis contributed to two of OSU's four consecutive NCAA championships and became one of 11 four-time all-Americans in NCAA history.
Lewis wrestled for OCU coach Archie Randall in high school.
"What an opportunity to have one of my former wrestlers who was an outstanding wrestler and spent five years under one of the best coaches in college history," Randall said. "With his experience, how could we not be successful?"
As a high school star, Lewis won two state championships and finished runner-up twice at El Reno High School for Randall. He won four district titles and three regional titles. Lewis was named 1999 all-city co-wrestler of the year by The Oklahoman. He posted a 139-4 record in high school.
Lewis garnered a wide range of accolades in national junior and high school wrestling. Lewis was named an Asics first-team all-American, two-time junior all-American, cadet all-American, Jim Thorpe wrestler of the year and the Wrestling Hall of Fame wrestler of the year. Lewis won a junior national championship.
"Getting an assistant coach with the resume that Tyrone Lewis has is a terrific step for our program," OCU athletic director Jim Abbott. "We've gone from having no program six months ago to having the most successful high school coach in Oklahoma history and having an Olympic-caliber assistant coach. I'm excited to see him take those skills he's developed with the national team and use those to develop our program.
"I am very impressed with the young man Tyrone is. I believe he will represent our university well."
And in international play, Lewis wrestled for the United States against Iran and in Izmir, Turkey. Lewis won the Sunkist Kids Tournament and University Trials and finished runner-up at the Dave Schulze Tournament, the Poland Invitational and the Senior World Team Trials.
Lewis has also been featured on the Oklahoma team in Real Pro Wrestling.
Lewis also coached at OSU wrestling camps and Steve Glassey's Camp of Champions. He coached for the El Reno freestyle wrestling club, Stillwater freestyle wrestling club, the Oklahoma USA Wrestling team and the Stillwater Little League wrestling club.
OCU will wrestle for the first time since the 1930s in 2006-07. The Stars will begin on Oct. 28 in the Lindenwood Open and have their first dual against the University of Oklahoma on Nov. 4.