Coleman Scott on replacing John Smith as OSU wrestling coach: 'That's not my call'

Apr. 11—For most of Coleman Scott's life, John Smith was the head coach of Oklahoma State wrestling.

Scott, 37, was named the interim coach Thursday when Smith announced his retirement after a legendary 33-year career.

The official position must be posted for five working days, according to Oklahoma statute, in order to give qualified candidates an opportunity to apply. The wrestling community has considered Scott's elevation inevitable when he resigned as the head coach at North Carolina to become the associate head coach at OSU in August.

But no one, not even Scott, expected it to come so soon.

"I had the talk with him this week," Scott said in an exclusive interview with the News Press. "He's earned every bit of anything he gets and super happy for him. This is an unbelievable career and the greatest of all time."

Scott did not confirm whether he expects to be the program's next head coach or not.

"That's not my call," he said. "It's not about me. It's about the program and it's about Coach Smith and what he has meant to this school and this athletic department. We're going to celebrate him."

Smith coached Scott to an individual NCAA championship at 133 pounds in 2008, four All-American runs and team titles in his freshman and sophomore seasons. Smith was also the Team USA coach when Scott won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Scott started his coaching career on Smith's staff as a volunteer assistant in 2013 and 2014.

Scott said he was happy for Smith.

"Doing something 33 years, he's got the right to make that decision," Scott said. "I want to celebrate him and do anything I can to make him proud and show him how much he meant to me and this school and this program."

Smith and athletic director Chad Weiberg will host a press conference Monday morning to discuss the retirement.

Scott can be named the official head coach by the end of next week. What will his job consist of until then?

"I don't know yet," Scott said. "We're continuing to work. We're getting ready for Olympic Trials next week, taking five out there and then taking a crew to U20s the week after that, so that's all I'm focused on right now."