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|Eddie Griffin receives Gallagher Award from Oklahoma State wrestling|
By Gavin Lang Oklahoma State
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith announced today that Eddie Griffin is the 2011 recipient of Cowboy Wrestling’s Gallagher Award. Griffin wrestled for OSU from the 1967-68 season through the 1971-72 season and was a member of NCAA title teams in 1968 and 1971.
The Gallagher Award is presented annually to an OSU wrestling alumnus who exemplifies the spirit and leadership eminent in the tradition of champions. Griffin will be presented with the award prior to the Cowboys’ dual vs. Wyoming on Sunday.
“As a former wrestler, this is a special award and I’m honored that they would even think about me because there are so many champions and others deserving of this recognition,” Griffin said. “I went to OSU mainly because of Coach Roderick. Yojiro Uetake was here as a graduate assistant and there were so many other great guys like Ray Murphy and the list just goes on and on.”
“This was an easy choice in recognition of what the award represents,” Smith said. “Eddie Griffin coached high school, Division II and Division I and he was successful at all levels. He reached the pinnacle with team national championships and individual national champions.”
Griffin was inducted into the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and was given the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award Class of 2001. His 20-year career as a wrestling coach started at Ardmore HS in 1972. In 1976, he moved to Del City where he coached for two years. He then moved to the college ranks and become the coach at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he won three NAIA National Championships in 1979, 1981 and 1982, respectively.
He was named the Rookie College Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News in 1979, and was a three-time selection as National Coach of the Year.
In 1983, he took over as wrestling coach at Clemson University. He was the 1991 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year. His coaching record boasts 211 wins, 84 losses and 4 ties.
He coached 11 individual national champions and 30 NCAA and NAIA All Americans. In addition, he coached 12 ACC champions.
Griffin returned to Oklahoma City in 1992 and became the athletic director of the Oklahoma City Schools. In 2000, he became the athletic director of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah until 2009 when he was named the executive director of the Jim Thorpe Association.
“Being at OSU really opened up a lot of doors for me,” Griffin said. “Coach Roderick was very helpful in getting me the job at Clemson and at UCO. I am so grateful for my time at OSU.”
Gallagher Award Recipients
1986 - Rex Peery
1987 - Frank Lewis
1988 - Myron Roderick
1989 - Tommy Chesbro
1990 - Joe McDaniel
1991 - John W. Divine
1996 - Ray Murphy
1997 - John Smith
1998 - Grady Peninger
1999 - Kenny Monday
2000 - Pat Smith
2001 - Kendall Cross
2002 - Mike Sheets
2003 - Doug Blubaugh
2004 - Grover Rains
2005 - Bobby Douglas
2006 - Charles Hetrick
2007 - Fred Davis
2008 - Lee Roy Smith
2009 - Bobby Stites
2010 - Bill Harlow
2011 – Eddie Griffin