The two-time NCAA champion and US Olympic medallist will be the new wrestling coach at Oklahoma State. The school announced the news on its social media pages. He will be the sixth head coach of the Cowboys. Taylor makes his coaching debut with more than 10 years of competitive experience since leaving college.

With Oklahoma State, David Taylor makes the transition from competitor to coach. The former wrestler at Penn State, where he wrestled until 2014, will be tasked with developing young wrestlers at Oklahoma. He will work with the rest of the professional staff to maximise the potential of their athletes.

Taylor officially joined the team last Monday, Oklahoma State announced on its social media channels. Taylor takes over from and follows in the footsteps of another American wrestler, two-time Olympic gold medallist John Smith. Smith was the winningest coach in Oklahoma State wrestling history.

The original plan was for assistant head coach Coleman Scott to take over. However, Oklahoma decided to hire Taylor. As Pokes Report points out: Oklahoma State athletic director Chad Weiberg travelled to State College, Pennsylvania, to meet with the former wrestler. Weiberg was one of the potential backers of the hire.

The decision may come as a bit of a surprise as it gives Taylor the opportunity without any previous coaching experience, similar to Smith.

No-one can argue with the track record of Taylor, who recently retired from competition after competing in the 2024 Olympic trials in April. He was a two-time national champion at Penn State. He also won the Hodge Trophy twice.

Following his collegiate career, Taylor compiled a 152-21 overall record in freestyle wrestling, including three gold medals at the US Open Championships, three gold medals at the Pan American Championships, one gold medal at the World Cup, three gold medals at the World Championships and one gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Taylor wrestling with Aaron Brooks. GETTY IMAGES
Taylor wrestling with Aaron Brooks. GETTY IMAGES

Taylor was active until a few weeks ago. His bid to defend Olympic gold at Paris 2024 was thwarted by Aaron Brooks, a four-time NCAA champion at Penn State.

"Taylor said in a statement after announcing his new position as head coach, "It is an honour to be in this position and I am extremely grateful. "I am excited about the future of wrestling in the state of Oklahoma. It has an incredible tradition. I am excited to be a part of it moving forward. I have achieved everything I wanted in my personal career. This is not about me anymore. I am just excited to be in a position to help others achieve their goals and to really make a difference in the world of wrestling and in the lives of those around me," said Taylor, as quoted by the AP.