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How Staff Changes May Be Currently Impacting Cowboy Wrestling



This summer it was announced that Eric Guerrero would be leaving Oklahoma State for the Oklahoma Regional Training Center.

After Eric left Zack Esposito was promoted to the associate head coaches position, Chris Perry, who had been a volunteer assistant, to assistant coach, Isaac Jordan came in and replaced Perry as the volunteer assistant and Tyler Caldwell was hired on as the recruiting coordinator.

Eric Guerrero can coach. He knows the technical side of the sport, he knows how to communicate it, and was effective at teaching it. You could see that on the mat with the Cowboy teams he coached. He’s a smaller guy who probably worked with the lower weights a lot and OSU, for the most part, has been very good there.

But Guerrero wasn’t necessarily known as the best recruiter. It goes without saying that Perry, Jordan, and Caldwell have a leg in the recruiting department as they’re a lot younger. It’s easier for them to connect with recruits, build relationships, etc. And the Cowboys seemed to see the benefit of that side of the change almost instantly, flipping two elite recruits from Minnesota and PSU within a few months of the staff change.

On the mat, the Cowboys as a whole don’t look as good as you’d prefer right now. They came into the season ranked 3-4 in most polls and are now sitting in the 7-9 range.  Coach Smith said a few weeks ago the they hadn’t put together a good performance all season. Dean Heil, a Guerrero recruit, is now 3-4 in his last seven matches after winning 55 straight prior to that first loss. This leaves a lot of people wondering what’s going on with the Cowboys?

The young coaches are clearly recruiting better with the guys they landed, but you have to wonder if what we’re seeing on the mat this year is the result of some growing pains with three young coaches in Perry, Caldwell, and Jordan vs. what you may have seen with a 15-year veteran like Guerrero.

It’s no knock on the young guys. It’s just a fact that they are younger and less experienced. So it’s easy to think that a guy that has been doing the job since they were in elementary school might have a technical edge comparative to where they currently are.

In the big picture of this exchange you prefer the step up in recruiting over the drop off in veteran experience. These young new coaches will get there in time. That part will take care of itself,  John Smith is the best in the business at bringing along young coaches. Ideally the talent level upgrade in the room, due to improved recruiting, balances out the loss of a veteran coach as these young coaches develop.

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