Lee Roy Smith

Lee Roy Smith became executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.

From the brink of bankruptcy, Smith has steered the National Wrestling Hall of Fame to financial solvency, including the acquisition of the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. In the last decade, he has spearheaded capital campaigns for state-of-the-art renovations for both museums, $3.8 million in Stillwater and $1.5 million in Waterloo.

The Del City, Oklahoma, native began wrestling in the fourth grade, beginning what would grow into a family sports dynasty in the state and across the globe. The second oldest of Madalene and Lee Roy Smith’s 10 children, he was the first two-time Oklahoma state champion for Del City High School, compiling an overall record of 71-3 and being named Outstanding Wrestler at the state tournament as a senior. He was also the first wrestler from Oklahoma to win two National Junior Freestyle Championships.

A four-time Big Eight Conference champion and three-time All-American for Oklahoma State, he capped his career with an NCAA championship at 142 pounds in 1980. Smith was the first wrestler in OSU’s storied history to reach 100 wins and was the Cowboys’ 1980 Athlete of the Year.

After college, Smith began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for OSU while continuing to compete internationally. He won the National Open Freestyle Championships three times and twice was named Outstanding Wrestler. He won the 1984 Olympic Trials and qualified for two World championship teams, earning a silver medal in 1983, while also capturing silver medals at the World Cup in 1983 and 1984.

Smith helped recruit his younger brother John to OSU, coaching him to two All-America finishes and his first NCAA title in 1987. He then moved to Switzerland to work as a member of the Swiss Wrestling Federation national coaching staff and be head coach of the Martigny Wrestling Club. Smith conducted training camps in preparation for international competition that resulted in the Swiss team having its best finish ever at the Freestyle World Championships in 1987. He also led Martigny to a second-place national finish in 1988, its first top-three finish in over 10 years.

Smith returned to the United States two years later to become USA Wrestling’s national freestyle coach. In four years leading the U.S. team, he coached six World champions, three Olympic gold medalists, 10 World silver medalists, two Olympic silver medalists, a World bronze medalist and an Olympic bronze medalist. In 1992, with younger brother John and fellow Oklahoman Kenny Monday on the team, Smith led the United States to its best Olympic finish with three gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze medal with all 10 wrestlers finishing in the top seven while scoring a record number of team points. His teams finished first twice and second twice at the World Cup and he also coached the U.S. to its first dual meet victory on Soviet soil in Mogilev, Belarus on January 20, 1990.

After the 1992 Olympic Games, Smith became the head wrestling coach at Arizona State University. In nine years at the ASU helm, he compiled an overall record of 91-58-1 while coaching three NCAA champions, 28 All-Americans and 27 Pac-10 Conference champions. He led the Sun Devils to five Top 10 finishes at the NCAA Division I Championships and five Pac-10 Conference titles. He was named Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year four times and was the national Rookie Coach of the Year in 1993. In addition to success on the mat, Smith’s teams achieved the highest graduation rate of any sport at ASU.

He was selected to work as a member of the broadcast team for the 1996 Olympics, using his expertise to describe action so that the camera operators could provide the best possible shots of the wrestling. He returned to the Olympics in 2000, serving as wrestling’s expert liaison between competition management and the international television production staff.

Smith’s two youngest brothers, Pat and Mark, followed their older brothers into wrestling and to OSU. Pat was the first four-time NCAA Division I champion while Mark was a three-time All-American. Lee Roy, John and Pat are the first and only three brothers to each win an NCAA title. Heading into 2022, the Smith siblings and their direct descendants have combined to win four World gold medals, two Olympic gold medals, a World silver medal, 11 NCAA titles, 22 All-America honors, 21 college conference titles, 23 state high school championships, two national prep titles, and nine national junior freestyle championships.

All American Awards:

Season
1980
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
142
Place
1
Season
1979
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
142
Place
4
Season
1977
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
134
Place
5

College Season Records:

Season
1980
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Senior
Bouts
40
Wins
38
Losses
2
Ties
0
Falls
10
Win PCT.
95
Place
1st
Season
1979
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Junior
Bouts
40
Wins
35
Losses
4
Ties
1
Falls
8
Win PCT.
87.5
Place
4th
Season
1978
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Sophomore
Bouts
28
Wins
22
Losses
3
Ties
3
Falls
7
Win PCT.
78.57
Place
DNP
Season
1977
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Freshman
Bouts
23
Wins
19
Losses
4
Ties
0
Falls
1
Win PCT.
82.61
Place
5th
Season
Career
Bouts
131
Wins
114
Losses
13
Ties
4
Falls
26
Win PCT.
87.02

All Coaching Dual Records:

Season
2001
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
15
Wins
10
Losses
5
Ties
0
Win PCT.
66.67
Season
2000
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
18
Wins
10
Losses
8
Ties
0
Win PCT.
55.56
Season
1999
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
20
Wins
11
Losses
8
Ties
1
Win PCT.
55
Season
1998
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
20
Wins
14
Losses
6
Ties
0
Win PCT.
70
Season
1997
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
18
Wins
13
Losses
5
Ties
0
Win PCT.
72.22
Season
1996
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
18
Wins
10
Losses
8
Ties
0
Win PCT.
55.56
Season
1995
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
13
Wins
7
Losses
6
Ties
0
Win PCT.
53.85
Season
1994
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
12
Wins
4
Losses
8
Ties
0
Win PCT.
33.33
Season
1993
School
Arizona State
Division
Division I
Duals
16
Wins
12
Losses
4
Ties
0
Win PCT.
75
Season
Career
Duals
150
Wins
91
Losses
58
Ties
1
Win PCT.
60.67

All Rankings:

Season
1980
Rank Date
11/19/1979
Weight
142
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1980
Rank Date
01/14/1980
Weight
142
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1980
Rank Date
01/28/1980
Weight
142
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1980
Rank Date
02/11/1980
Weight
142
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1980
Rank Date
02/25/1980
Weight
142
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1980
Rank Date
03/15/1980
Weight
142
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State
Season
1979
Rank Date
11/18/1978
Weight
142
Rank
1
School
Oklahoma State

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