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OSU Wrestling: Daton Fix Will Still Be Around Program, Specific Role Undetermined

‘I want to help the coaching staff in any way I can.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Daton Fix will remain a staple of Cowboy Wrestling.

Fix finished his Oklahoma State wrestling career this past season as the program’s only five-time All-American and five-time Big 12 champion. He made it clear during his seven years at OSU that his ambitions after college were to make the Olympics and become a coach. Despite all the change going on in Stillwater between John Smith’s retirement and the hiring of David Taylor, plans didn’t waiver for Fix.

Taylor said Friday at his introduction news conference that Fix will still be around the program. He mentioned Fix specifically when talking about the importance of a successful regional training center (RTC), which OSU has in Cowboy Wrestling Club. Taylor said Fix and Tyler Caldwell, who has been on OSU’s staff for seven years, are still training current wrestlers competing in freestyle tournaments this summer during this time of transition.

“The RTC is a foundation,” Taylor said. “Our very first order of business is Daton Fix staying at the RTC. We’re excited about Daton. I’m extremely excited about helping him — our staff Jimmy [Kennedy] and Thomas [Gilman] — and his goals. We sat down and kind of talked about what does it look like for him and surrounding him with people who can help do that. As we continue to build out the RTC it’s gonna be selected with the right group of people. As our athletes finish, and if they have the same aspirations to be world and Olympic champions, then they’re gonna have a path and place to do that.”

Fix told PFB on Friday evening that his specific role has not been discussed yet, but he will be around the program training and also coaching in some capacity.

“I want to help the guys get better,” Fix said. “I want to help the coaching staff in any way I can. It’s probably going to be a lot different, going from being an athlete to being a coach. I’ve been here for awhile, I’ve been here for seven years, so I know a lot of people and I can make that transition a lot easier.”

Taylor has made two hires already in associate head coach Jimmy Kennedy and assistant coach Thomas Gilman. Fix already has quite the history with Gilman, who was a three-time All-American at Iowa from 2012 to 2017. Gilman and Fix competed at the same weight internationally — 57 kilograms. Most recently, Gilman beat Fix 6-0 in the semifinals of the Olympic Team Trials last month, ending Fix’s chances at representing his country at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Gilman won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 while representing the U.S.

Gilman ultimately lost to Spencer Lee in a best-of-three series in the Team Trials finals, though. At 29, missing out on the upcoming Olympics ultimately ended Gilman’s wrestling career as he moves onto coaching. But still 26, Fix plans to continue to compete internationally with the hopes of another opportunity to compete at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

“It’s a resource,” Fix said of Gilman. “It’s someone that I’m going to be able to use to get better and I know that he is excited. He’s going to do what’s best for all of us. He came here to help us all get better. I’m really glad I get to be around him and get to know him a little better. We’re ready to get to work.”

The addition of Taylor and Gilman adds a pair of Olympic medals from the most recent event to the Cowboy Wrestling room. Gilman has a bronze medal and Taylor won a gold medal in Tokyo in his first and only Olympics. Taylor didn’t compete in the Olympics until he was 29. For comparison, John Smith retired at 26 having already won a pair of Olympic gold medals. Fix, though, would be 30 at the next Olympics in 2028.

“I think it’ll be good for Daton,” Smith said. “I think he’s getting older, and I think that Coach Taylor can help him. Having the experiences of winning when he got older, he’s got that experience. The things that I didn’t do. I think it’s going to be really helpful for Daton to possibly take it to the next level.”

If Fix does stick around OSU until the next Olympic cycle, he would have been around the program in some capacity for over decade, and during two different eras of Cowboy Wrestling.

“It’s a good time to be a Cowboy,” Fix said. “I bet there will be a lot of young wrestlers that are gonna want to be here now. It’s exciting. All the alumni and the donors, it may not have been the decision that a lot of us thought it was going to be, but it’s important to support the program because, like Smith always says, nobody is bigger than the program.”

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