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OSU Wrestling: Thomas Gilman, Jimmy Kennedy Joining David Taylor’s Coaching Staff as Assistants

Taylor’s first move as a head coach.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

David Taylor isn’t wasting any time putting together his first coaching staff.

Taylor was announced as Oklahoma State’s new wrestling coach late Monday night. On Thursday morning, OSU announced Thomas Gilman and Jimmy Kennedy will join his coaching staff as assistants to support Taylor in his first season as a college coach. Kennedy’s role will be associate head coach. Taylor’s introduction news conference will also be later Thursday (Update: it has been rescheduled to 10:30 a.m. Friday).

At 29, this will be Gilman’s first official role on a coaching staff after an outstanding wrestling career. He represented the United States at 57 kg at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where he won a bronze medal after losing his first match of the tournament. Gilman rebounded, though, and won a gold medal at the World Championships in 2021.

Gilman competed internationally at the same weight as former OSU wrestler Daton Fix, who Gilman beat in the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials last month. Gilman failed to reach the Olympics again, though, after losing to Spencer Lee in a best-of-three series in the finals. That loss ultimately freed Gilman up for this new role with OSU.

Before his international career, Gilman was a standout at Iowa, where he was a three-time All-American and a Big Ten champion in 2017. He was an NCAA runner-up in 2016 before placing third the next season. Despite wrestling collegiately for Iowa, Gilman started training with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club before the Tokyo Olympics. There, he shared a wrestling room with Taylor.

“Thomas is one of those people that elevates others around him,” Taylor said in OSU’s release. “I can’t wait to watch him grow into his role as a coach. I know he will pour into these kids and be a great leader for this program.”

Kennedy comes in with more coaching experience, serving as an assistant on Penn State’s staff the past three years, during which the Nittany Lions won a national title every season and were undefeated in duals at 45-0. He was also an assistant at Northwestern from 2018-21 before leaving for State College. As a wrestler, Kennedy was a three-time All-American at Illinois, competing at 133 and 141 pounds. After college, Kennedy had a successful international career, representing the U.S. at 61 kg at the World Championships in 2014. Kennedy will be OSU’s associate head coach.

“Jimmy is a coach that everyone wants on their team,” Taylor said. “He not only scraps with kids and can lay the hammer down, but he’s also someone who just really cares about the well-being of the athletes. He connects with people and has an energy in the room that makes everyone want to get better.”

There has not been an official announcement yet regarding anyone on OSU’s coaching staff from this past season under John Smith, which was made up entirely of Cowboy Wrestling alumni. After leading North Carolina for eight seasons, Coleman Scott returned to Stillwater in August to serve as associate head coach and was promoted to interim head coach after Smith’s retirement. The staff also included assistants Chris Perry, Tyler Caldwell and Gary Wayne Harding. The Cowboy Wrestling Club staff included Eric Guerrero and Derek Fix.

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