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John Smith: ‘Oklahoma State Is In Talks’ about Adding a Women’s Program

The current economic climate presents its own challenges.



During Oklahoma State’s weekly wrestling media availability, John Smith was asked about the pandemic and how it’s impacting programs. He had a number of comments, but one specifically related to its impact on women’s wrestling.

“I think we’ll come out of this in good shape,” said Smith. “I think it probably put the brakes on in a lot of ways with women’s wrestling for just a moment, not long. I’ll say, I think as we come out of this, women’s wrestling has a real opportunity of growth.”

John then discussed the impact on his program,

“I look at my check every month, it’s a big difference,” Smith said. “It’s OK, what Coach Holder has done, it’s OK. It takes some leadership, you gotta make some decisions, not everyone is going to agree with it. In the end Oklahoma State appears to be in good shape as we go forward. You’re not doing that without making hard decisions. My operating budget, I’ll probably end up spending 35-40% of it. That’s a good thing. If all of our sports are doing the same, which they are, we’re going to be in a lot better place when this thing is over.”

I followed up by asking Coach Smith if when things get back to normal could we ever see a women’s program at Oklahoma State?

“Oklahoma State is in talks, we’re talking about it right now,” Smith said. “I’m not the person to probably be saying anything other than we’ve had talks about it and it’s definitely on the radar. We’re working through the process of seeing if it’s something the Oklahoma State Athletic Department wants to add… We’ve definitely visited about it several times.”

The man that is in that position is Mike Holder. I recently sent an email to Coach Holder to ask the same question. Could Oklahoma State ever add wrestling? Here was his response.


Adding sports is not an option today given the financial challenges created by the pandemic. Our goal is to keep all of the sports that we currently sponsor and see a return to normal capacity in our venues next season.

Mike Holder

So there is some buzz on the women’s wrestling front, but the school is still currently navigating budget changes from a completely unprecedented global pandemic that may make the process a bit more difficult than most would hope.

Ideally, Oklahoma State comes out of the pandemic OK and in time is able to add a program.

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