Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder plans to make a big investment in the university’s track and field and wrestling programs.
Holder told Seth Duckworth of Pistols Firing Blog that he “envisions” a new indoor track and wrestling facilities will cost about $80 million, with probably $40 million for each one. He also scoffed at the idea of crowdfunding and instead said OSU will continue to use fundraising campaigns for new facilities. He did not give a fundraising timeline goal for either project.
Holder made sure to note wrestling duals will remain at the historic Gallagher-Iba Arena. He envisions the facility being east of GIA by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The ground floor even though it comes up out of the ground, if you get about 70-80, maybe 100 yards from the arena, that would be the bottom floor and would take care of all the training and locker rooms, and you have your weight room right there in Gallagher-Iba, that’s everything you need to train a wrestler on that level. You could put more stories on that foundation and now it’s just how big do you want to think? What do you want to put up there? Someone else may have a better idea. If someone’s got enough money and they have a better idea, then I’m all ears.
In the past few years, OSU has used $60 million into O’Brate Stadium for baseball and $20 million into Neal Patterson Stadium for the women’s soccer program. Both were welcomed additions, and the Cowgirls move opened up new locker room space for wrestlers at GIA.
But while both facilities were well received they also left some questioning the university’s commitment to its most successful program: wrestling. Last April, he even acknowledged OSU has “taken (wrestling) for granted.”
OSU’s wrestling program has an NCAA-high 34 team national titles and 134 individual champions, but they haven’t won a team title since 2006 with its closest showing in 2016 by 25.5 points to Penn State. Nittany Lions head coach Cael Sanderson, who went undefeated during his collegiate career at Iowa State, has built a dynasty at PSU by winning eight of the last nine national championships.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls track programs have combined for 17 indoor individual championships (13 men, four women). Kaela Edwards won the last indoor title in the mile in 2016. The Cowboys haven’t had an indoor champ since Paul Larkins claimed the mile title in 1986. Sinclaire Johnson won the 1,500-meter run last outdoor season.