Missouri's wrestling coach named Big 12 Coach of the Year

Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 5:09 p.m. CDT; updated 10:07 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 22, 2012

COLUMBIA — Missouri wrestling head coach Brian Smith has been selected as the Big 12 Coach of the Year, announced by the league office Thursday afternoon. Smith is the first Missouri wrestling coach to be named Coach of the Year by the conference.

Smith led Missouri to its first Big 12 championship this season, holding off defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma State 77-73 on March 3 at Hearnes Center.

Under Smith's leadership, the Tigers sent all 10 of their starting wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, including Big 12 champions Alan Waters (125 pounds), Drake Houdashelt (157 pounds), Zach Toal (165 pounds) and Mike Larson (184 pounds).

Missouri went 14-5 in dual meets during the regular season and earned Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honors four times. Waters received the honor three times, and Brent Haynes (197 pounds) received it once.

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