John Smith’s father Lee Roy passed away on Sunday night. The patriarch of the “first family of Oklahoma State wrestling” has had a huge impact on the sport and created an incredible lineage of wrestlers with his children and grandchildren. I thought I’d take a look at some of the number of key wrestling achievements the family has amassed.
|Titles||World/Olympic Medals||World/Olympic Titles||NCAA Titles||All-American Honors|
|Lee Roy Smith Jr.||1||0||1||3|
|Combined titles Children and Grandchildren||7||6||11||22|
Between children and grandchildren Lee Roy has produced seven World/Olympic medals, six World/Olympic titles, 11 NCAA titles, and 22 All-Americans! That’s with two-time All-American Joe Smith still a college junior and a number of children and great grandchildren still growing up in the sport. His son Pat was the first four-time NCAA champion and John is the only American to win six World/Olympic titles.
John is one of the more successful coaches in the history of the sport and Lee Roy Jr., who is now the director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, had a good coaching run in his own right. Lee Roy led a number of World teams and had a stint as the head coach at Arizona State. Pat, who was an assistant at OSU for some time, is often credited with much of the program’s success in the early 2000’s. Now Lee Roy Sr.’s grandchildren Mark and Chris are both carving out careers in coaching as assistants at Iowa and OSU.
And his family doesn’t just produce wrestlers. Phillies catcher and MLB All-Star J.T. Realmuto is John Smith’s nephew and one of Lee Roy’s grandchildren. Realmuto had signed with OSU before being drafted and opting to go into professional baseball.
The J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes are OVER.@Phillies reportedly acquire the All-Star catcher from the @Marlins for Jorge Alfaro, pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart, and international bonus slot. https://t.co/XkOlyGJhBa pic.twitter.com/75kicCpCS4
— MLB (@MLB) February 7, 2019
When John Smith spoke of his father’s passing after the Big 12 tournament on Sunday, he was visibly choked up and also proud of his father.
“What a great run. A great father, a father of 10. He has about 50 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren. Lucky to have a father that cared.”
That run is arguably the best family of athletes to come out of the state of Oklahoma.