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OSU Wrestling: Tommy Chesbro, Eddie Griffin Among 2020 Hall of Fame Class

Two former Pokes get their due.



The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 2020 class, and two former Cowboy wrestlers will be inducted.

Longtime Oklahoma State head coach, Tommy Chesbro, and former Cowboy wrestler-turned UCO coach and athletic director, Eddie Griffin, were both announced as members of the 2020 class.

Chesbro became the fourth wrestling coach in Oklahoma State history in 1970. He coached Oklahoma State from 1970-1984.

From 1970 through 1984, his teams won 227 dual meets against only 26 defeats, a 90 percent winning record. He closed his coaching career with a 43-match winning streak, including 22 victories in 1983. During that season, the Cowboys shut out 10 opponents, one of the foes posting the rare score of minus 1, thanks to a penalty against its coach.

Chesbro’s Cowboys won the NCAA team championship in 1971 and placed among the top four teams a dozen more times. He coached 20 individual NCAA champions and 20 National AAU and USA Wrestling title-winners, headed by World and Olympic champions John
Smith and Kenny Monday and three-time NCAA heavyweight king Jimmy Jackson.

Griffin wrestled at Oklahoma State from 1967-1972, then went on to coach at Clemson and UCO and later become the athletic director at Central Oklahoma. Here’s UCO detailing Griffin’s career.

Griffin has been the athletic director at Central Oklahoma since October of 2017, overseeing the Broncho athletic department’s most ambitious transformation in school history. Nearly $30 million in facility renovations have taken place over the past few years at Central.

UCO has also won two team national championships and four individual national titles in rowing, as well as an individual national title in wrestling, since Griffin’s arrival to campus in 2017.

That arrival was a return to campus for Griffin. The former head wrestling coach won three national championships in 1979, 1981, and 1982. Griffin, who graduated with his Master of Education from Central and later became the head wrestling coach for the Bronchos, helped lay a foundation for success in athletics at UCO and in 2008, Griffin was inducted into the UCO Athletic Hall of Fame.

He was named the Rookie Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News in 1979. He coached 26 All-Americans, 11 individual national champions and put together a 40-18-1 dual record that included wins over Alabama, Arizona, Brigham Young, Oregon and Washington. Griffin was named NAIA National Coach of the Year three times in four seasons.

Griffin’s 1981 team was perhaps the best in NAIA history, scoring a tournament-record 155.25 points and crowning six individual champions, while running away with the title. The Bronchos won again in 1982.

Griffin came to UCO a second time after serving as the president of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Association. He also served as an athletic director for Oklahoma City Public Schools and Northeastern State University, as well as head wrestling coach at Clemson University.

Griffin coached high school wrestling at Del City and Ardmore before his first stint at Central. He was a wrestler at Oklahoma State in the late 1960s, early 1970s. Griffin, who helped Oklahoma State win NCAA wrestling championships in 1968 and 1971, was the recipient of the Gallagher Award in 2011.

Both coached John Smith for a time in their careers as Griffith was his head coach at Del City high school and Chesbro his coach at Oklahoma State.

The ceremony takes place on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. at the Jeaneen and Bob Naifeh Family & Bud Wilkinson Event Center

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