Six Sooners named to the Top 100 of all time

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NORMAN – FloWrestling selected six wrestling greats earlier on their list of America’s 100 Best Wrestlers of All Time. Earlier, legends Dave Schultz, Mark Schultz, Wayne Wells, Danny Hodge, Melvin Douglas and Andre Metzger found places in the top 100.

The Sooners saw five names included in the top 30, more than any other school in the country, with Dave Schultz at No 12, Mark Schultz at No 13, Wells at No 20, Hodge at No 26 and Douglas at No ° 30. Quadruple All-American Metzger registered in 51st place.

With six wrestlers on the roster, Oklahoma ranks third in Division I programs in terms of ranked wrestlers. All six are members of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and count for 523 wins with 148 falls, winning an impressive 0.882 percent of their college games.

# 12 Dave Schultz

One of the greatest to ever make it in Crimson and Cream, Schultz won the 1982 National Championship at 167 pounds, was a three-time All-American and held a career record 88-9-1 at the university with 20 falls.

His legend became even more important in his time after OU. Schultz has won 10 senior national titles in three weight divisions in 19 years and is a seven-time world and Olympic medalist. He won his first world medal at the 1982 World Championships when he moved from one weight class to the next and won bronze at 82 kg. He won gold the following year at his regular 74 kg, then won Olympic gold in 1984.

He and his brother Mark became the first brothers to win gold medals at the same Olympics (they were immediately matched by twins Ed and Lou Banach in those same games). Schultz went on to help Team USA win their first world title in 1993 and their second in 1995.

Schultz was tragically killed in 1996 in Foxcatcher while training for the 1996 Olympics.

He is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for being “a true champion on and off the mats, and [for being] the most beloved international ambassador for peace and friendship the wrestling world has ever known. ”

Mark Schutlz's top 100 chart
# 13 Mark Schultz

Younger brother Schultz was a two-time general-purpose gymnastics champion in high school before moving on to wrestling and becoming California State Champion. He first wrestled at UCLA, but his college career exploded once he joined his older brother in Oklahoma.

He won back-to-back NCAA crowns in two different weight classes with OU from 1981-83 and went undefeated as a senior at 27-0, setting an academic record for most wins in a single unbeaten season. He won his second individual championship in an epic match with future Olympian gold medalist (and No.66 on that list) Ed Banach finishing 16-8 in favor of Schultz, preventing Banach from winning his fourth national title. Schultz was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

On the world stage, Schultz won a gold medal alongside his brother at the 1984 Olympics and went on to win world titles in 1985 and 1987. He was the first American to win three NCAA titles and three world titles. and Olympic. He also won four national freestyle titles and a Pan American gold medal.

He became a distinguished member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award in 2013.

Wayne Wells Top 100 Chart
# 20 Wayne Wells

Wells was a three-time Big 8 champion and two-time All-American for the Sooners. He was second at the 1967 NCAA Championships before rebounding and winning the title in 1968. That same year, he was fourth at the Olympics. He ended his college career 69-4-2 with 28 falls in three years of competition.

Immediately after graduating from OU’s undergraduate degree, he enrolled in OU law school, but didn’t stop struggling. Following a familiar pattern, Wells won a silver medal at the 1969 World Championships and then won gold the following year. He was only the third American to do so.

In 1972, he completed his final year of law school, passed the bar and won gold at the Munich Summer Olympics despite a separated rib, an enlarged spleen and an injured knee. He was the first American to win a world title and an Olympic gold medal.

He also broke carpet records, becoming Nike’s very first signature athlete in all sports and the first to have his own wrestling shoe.

Chart of the top 100 Danny Hodge
# 26 Danny Hodge

A giant of the program and of the sport as a whole, Hodge was the epitome of perfection in his time in Oklahoma. One of the best at the college level. The Perry, Oklahoma native recorded a clear 46-0 in three seasons, winning 36 of those games in the fall (78%) and winning three back-to-back NCAA Championships (1955, 1956, 1957) along the way. He was the first undefeated college wrestler.

During his junior and senior season, he pinned 22 straight opponents and won all three of his national championship finals in the fall. He even made his way through the entirety of the 1956 NCAA Championship. No college foe ever took him to the mat from a standing position.

His performance at the 1957 NCAA Championships earned him top wrestler honors and helped the Sooners win their fourth National Championship. His success at OU has led some to call him the greatest amateur wrestler of all time and has earned him the right to be the namesake of the Hodge Trophy, the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

Hodge made his first Olympic team in 1952 at the age of 19 and his second four years later, where he won a silver medal in Melbourne. He also won three national freestyle championships, enjoyed an 18-year run as a professional wrestler, and racked up a 17-0 record as an amateur boxer. He was the first athlete in over 50 years to win national titles in wrestling and boxing.

In 2005, Hodge was honored by Oklahoma state lawmakers as the Oklahoma Sports Hero and was invited to the House of Representatives to smash an apple with his bare hand, which he had become famous over the years.

He remains the only wrestler to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated for his accomplishments on the mat. Additionally, he entered the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a founding member in 1978.

Top 100 Melvin Douglas Graphic
# 30 Melvin Douglas

Although he didn’t start wrestling until he was 13, Douglas won three Kansas State titles to earn his place in the Oklahoma wrestling program, where he became the one of the best in the history of the program.

He won the Big 8 and NCAA titles in his last two years in 1985 and 1986, helping the Sooners win tag team conference titles and the NCAA runner-up finished both years. He ended his college career 109-19-4 and was a two-time All-American.

He has achieved enormous success on the international stage, acting as an important figure in freestyle wrestling on the world stage for over 15 years. Douglas won gold at the 1993 World Championships in Toronto and won three more medals at the World Championships throughout his career. In addition, he won seven national titles and was a member of 11 US national teams.

He was part of the Olympic team in 1996 and 2000 and was part of the US team world team championships in 1993 and 1995 alongside Dave Schultz – the first two championship teams of the history of men’s freestyle in the United States.

Douglas was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.

Top 100 graphic Andre Metzger
N ° 51 André Metzger

One of 11 four-time All-Americans in Oklahoma wrestling history, Metzger wasted no time in becoming a Sooner legend. He placed fifth and second at the NCAA tournament before winning back-to-back national championships in his junior and senior seasons. He compiled a 114-14-2 record in the Crimson and Cream, with 39 wins in the fall.

Internationally, Metzger was just 19 when he captured a bronze medal and became the youngest American to win a World Championship medal, a record that lasted 36 years until he was beaten in 2015. He won five medals at the World Championships in total and two first-place titles at the Pan American Games.

Metzger has played around 2,000 games in all competitions from high school to the end of his career with 1,870 wins to his name (winning percentage of 0.935). He’s also one of the few wrestlers to have a takedown move named after him – The Metzger.

He is the most recent of six Top 100 Sooners to be named to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, inducted in 2017.

These six Sooner legends are just a few of Oklahoma’s best wrestlers, as the Sooner wrestling program was named the fourth greatest wrestling dynasty in history by the NCAA in 2020. Since the inception of the Collegiate wrestling in 1928, OU was one of the most dominant wrestling programs in the country. The Sooners have produced seven national tag team titles, 24 conference championships, 67 individual national champions, 186 individual conference champions and 277 All-America accolades.

In addition to the Sooners’ seven National Championships, Oklahoma has finished second in the NCAA 12 times, tied for second in the country. The Sooners’ top-four rankings are the fourth nationally, and OU has landed a top-10 spot in the NCAA 64 times (third) out of 89 NCAA championships held.


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