2022-23 Oklahoma State Wrestling

A Rental Car, Stuck In LA Traffic Led Coleman Scott Back To Oklahoma State

A Rental Car, Stuck In LA Traffic Led Coleman Scott Back To Oklahoma State

New Oklahoma State associate head coach Coleman Scott reflects on his journey back to Stillwater after eight seasons as the head coach at North Carolina.

Dec 7, 2023 by Rowdy Baribeau
A Rental Car, Stuck In LA Traffic Led Coleman Scott Back To Oklahoma State

There was no better way to announce it. 

When social media feeds were greeted by a video, playing the song Coming Home, by Skylar Grey and Diddy, with a still-shot of a young Coleman Scott in a bright-orange Oklahoma State singlet, nothing more needed to be said. 

After eight seasons as the head coach at North Carolina, Scott was announced as the Cowboys’ newest assistant coach on August 21. Since then, many, including Oklahoma State coach John Smith and All-American Dustin Plott have stated there is a big difference in the room. 

It was a good call by Smith, but a tougher decision by Scott to choose to return. Scott built a life in Chapel Hill. It was where his children called home, played sports, and had friends. It was where he and his wife had created many connections. So, to say it was a lengthy, well-thought-out decision is an understatement.

“It wasn’t extremely quick,” Scott said. “Talking to the wife, my wife is from Oklahoma City, but my kids have been pretty much raised in Chapel Hill. We set some roots down there and had some great friends and families there. That was a huge part to us. ‘What’s best for us, and our family, not me.’”

Scott recalls the conversation he had with his family, ironically on a family vacation in Los Angeles. 

“It was just us five sitting around in a rental car driving around L.A.,” Scott said. “As you know, L.A. traffic — two, three hours, that’s when a lot of that happened. Turned the music off, and let’s have a discussion. We weighed our pros and cons right there.”

Since Scott’s hiring, there have been some rumors and theories that he is the likely candidate to be Smith’s successor as the head coach of Oklahoma State Wrestling. But, Scott brushed it off when asked about it directly. 

“Nah, that’s above my head,” Scott said. “I don’t make those decisions, I’m just here to help Cowboy wrestling and see where we can go. If it’s an opportunity — it’s an opportunity.”

Plott Reflects On CKLV

A ninth-place finish was not the result the Cowboys were aiming for, and neither was Plott’s third-place finish individually. While this Cowboy team is much younger and green in experience, Plott spouted praise for their grit.

“This weekend we saw a lot of young guys step up,” Plott said. “Tagen [Jamison] had a great tournament, I thought he looked really well. [Troy] Spratley, too. He had a couple of tough losses, but they were both matches he was very capable of winning and should have won, I think he thinks that too. Brayden [Thompson] — he’s just got to get a couple of things figured out, really good wrestler — he’ll be fine.”

Jamison burst onto the scene nationally with a fifth-place finish in the 141-pound bracket. Jamison was unranked last week. This week, he’s up to #8 in the national rankings. 

Jamison’s only losses came to Lachlan McNeil of North Carolina and Nebraska’s Brock Hardy, who were seeded #1 and #2, respectively, both by decision. Jamison saw Hardy in the fifth-place match. In his grudge match, Jamison picked up a 13-5 major decision to place in the toughest tournament he has competed in during his short college career. 

Plott also wrestled well in the tournament and won his first two matches by bonus points until he faced then-#12 Lenny Pinto of Nebraska. Plott lost by a 12-10 decision, but proceeded to tear through the consolation bracket, notching a trifecta of bonus-point victories with a tech fall, fall, and major decision en route to facing Pinto in the third-place bout. Plott’s story was the same as Jamison’s. Plott got his revenge and won by an 11-7 decision. But Plott’s standard for his performance is better than third. 

“It was alright — obviously, third was not the goal going in,” Plott said. “It kind of answered a lot of questions for me, on moving up. I hadn’t felt a lot of those better guys at the weight yet, so I was just kind of curious on just [their] strength and size. [I] got those answered and [I’m] definitely a lot more confident now. “ 

Plott and Jamison joined 165-pound champion Izzak Olejnik as the only Cowboys to place in the tournament. The Vegas title vaulted Olejnik up to #3 in the 165-pound rankings.

Previewing Lehigh and Oklahoma Duals

Oklahoma State has a busy weekend against #21 Lehigh and #18 Oklahoma in the Bedlam Classic. Oklahoma State will be the favorite at many weights against the Mountain Hawks, but not at one significant weight. There aren’t many ranked above #3 Daton Fix, but this weekend he will be facing the top wrestler in the nation at 133 pounds: Ryan Crookham. Crookham stole headlines when he defeated ranked teammate Connor McGonagle and reigning NCAA and World champion Vito Arujao in the same tournament. 

You beat the #1 wrestler, you earn the #1 spot. Will the token be the same for Fix this weekend? He was a notable scratch in the CKLV, and it is unknown if he will wrestle Friday night. Heavyweight #13 Konner Doucet and 197-pounder #12 Luke Surber both medically forfeited out of the tournament, and their availability is up in the air for this weekend. 

As for replacements, Reece Witcraft will likely go at 133 if Fix is unavailable. Christian Carroll could get the go at heavyweight for his first start in a dual and Kyle Haas is the likely candidate to go if Surber can’t.

The Sooners have had a solid start in Year 1 of the Roger Kish era. Oklahoma has four dual wins on the season and one loss to Missouri. There aren’t many who rank above Oklahoma State wrestlers, but the Sooners have an advantage at 197 pounds. Stephen Buchanan is back on the mat after transferring from Wyoming last season. If  Surber is healthy, he will have a great test this weekend with #9 Michael Beard on Friday and #3 Buchanan on Sunday.