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OSU wrestling: Former Cowboy national champion Fred Davis passes away

TULSA — Former Oklahoma State wrestling national champion Fred Davis died Friday at age 86.

A three-time All-American for OSU (then Oklahoma A&M) from 1954-56, Davis won the national title at 167 pounds in 1955 and finished as the runner-up at the weight class in 1956. He finished his OSU wrestling career with a 29-3 record and was part of three NCAA championship teams.

In 2007, Davis was the recipient of OSU’s Gallagher Award, which is presented annually to an OSU alumnus who exemplifies the spirit and leadership eminent in the tradition of champions.

Following his wrestling career, Davis became a teacher and helped open McLain High in Tulsa, where he also started the wrestling program.

In 1964, Davis took the head coaching position at BYU and spent 20 years leading the program. He coached 18 All-Americans and 59 Western Athletic Conference champions at BYU, winning the conference championship in 15 of his 20 seasons.

Davis was named the NCAA Coach of the Year in 1973 after guiding the Cougars to a fourth place at the NCAA championships — their best finish in school history. During his 20-year tenure at BYU, his teams compiled a record of 210-90-3.

Following his collegiate coaching career, Davis returned to Tulsa to coach at Bishop Kelley, leading the program to a state runner-up finish in 1986 and coaching five state champions in a five-year span before becoming the school’s dean of students. He held that position until he retired in 1999.

In 2002, Davis was given the Lifetime Service to Wrestling recognition by the Oklahoma chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Davis is survived by Deon, his wife of 36 years, and seven children.

Related Photos
BLUBAUGH, DOUG / WRESTLER: UNKNOWN: Caption reads, Doug Blubaugh, left, has caught Fred Davis with single leg pickup. Photographer UNKNOWN. Original Photo UNKNOWN. Published on O-2-8-56.

BLUBAUGH, DOUG / WRESTLER: UNKNOWN: Caption reads, Doug Blubaugh, left, has caught Fred Davis with single leg pickup. Photographer UNKNOWN. Original Photo UNKNOWN. Published on O-2-8-56.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-79d59336ed115ec78178f576d1735b6f.jpg" alt="Photo - BLUBAUGH, DOUG / WRESTLER: UNKNOWN: Caption reads, Doug Blubaugh, left, has caught Fred Davis with single leg pickup. Photographer UNKNOWN. Original Photo UNKNOWN. Published on O-2-8-56." title="BLUBAUGH, DOUG / WRESTLER: UNKNOWN: Caption reads, Doug Blubaugh, left, has caught Fred Davis with single leg pickup. Photographer UNKNOWN. Original Photo UNKNOWN. Published on O-2-8-56."><figcaption>BLUBAUGH, DOUG / WRESTLER: UNKNOWN: Caption reads, Doug Blubaugh, left, has caught Fred Davis with single leg pickup. Photographer UNKNOWN. Original Photo UNKNOWN. Published on O-2-8-56.</figcaption></figure>
Scott Wright

A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and... Read more ›

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