OU wrestling coach Michael Lightner has been promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach, head coach Mark Cody announced Tuesday.
Lightner was named an OU assistant on August 27, 2009, and his duties include recruiting, directing summer camps and training and instructing OU wrestlers. With the promotion, the Marlow, Okla., native will continue recruiting efforts for the program as well as his involvement with student-athlete instruction.
“It’s exciting, and I appreciate Coach Cody having the confidence in me to promote me,” Lightner said. “I think that hopefully this is a result of my loyalty to the University of Oklahoma wrestling program and to our student athletes. I’m 100 percent bought in and committed to helping our guys do great in the classroom and on the competition mat.”
Lightner began his career with the Sooners as a student-athlete from 1998-2001, recording one of the most impressive careers in OU wrestling history. He claimed the 141-pound national crown in 2001 and was a four-time All-American and Big 12 champion. Lightner ranks second in the program record book for career wins with 144.
After his career as an athlete, Lightner remained at OU as a club coach from 2001-2004 while training for international competition. In 2005 Lightner moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., to focus on his international wrestling career. In 2005 he was crowned champion at U.S. Nationals and the World Team Trials and was named as a World Team member. The following year he was runner-up at U.S. Nationals and placed second at the U.S. World Team Trials. He served as the OU volunteer assistant during the 2008-09 season before his promotion to assistant coach.
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