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Oklahoma State wrestling: Chris Pendleton named Oregon State head coach

The two-time NCAA champion was an assistant at Arizona State since 2014.

Oregon State athletics

Chris Pendleton, a two-time NCAA champion and three-time team champion at Oklahoma State, has been named the new head wrestling coach at Oregon State.

The move, announced Monday, is contingent on completion of university hiring processes. During Pendleton’s six years as an assistant at Arizona State, the Sun Devils won three of the past four Pac-12 championships, including the 2020 title. Prior to his time at ASU, he spent four seasons as the head assistant coach at Wyoming.

“The interest in this position was incredibly high, but as the process moved forward Coach Pendleton quickly rose to the top,” Barnes said. “Coach Pendleton’s focus on the development of student-athletes on and off the mat aligns with the Oregon State culture.

”He is an exceptional leader, teacher, and tactician. His pedigree as a high-level recruiter will benefit this storied program going forward, and we are excited to welcome him to the Oregon State community.”

Pendleton takes over the Beavers program for Jim Zalesky, who was fired March 9 after 14 seasons. The Beavers won seven Pac-12 team titles during Zalesky’s tenure, but none since 2016.

Pendleton went 118-12 and claimed 174-pound championships in 2004 and 2005 during his college career. He also was a two-time Big 12 champion (2003, 2005) and played a large role in three consecutive NCAA team titles from 2003 to 2005.

“When I started on my path in wrestling I had no idea where this journey would take me; I am beyond grateful that it has led me to become the head coach at Oregon State University,” Pendleton said. “This program and the state of Oregon has a rich wrestling history that I’m excited to a part of.

”I would like to thank Scott Barnes, Dan Bartholomae, and the rest of the search committee for giving me this incredible opportunity to mentor and develop student-athletes’ lives. I’m looking forward to helping build The Dam!”

Former Oklahoma State wrestlers as Division 1 head coaches

Mark Branch (Wyoming)

Neil Erisman (Little Rock)

Glen Lanham (Duke)

Teague Moore (American)

Pat Popolizio (North Carolina State)

Coleman Scott (North Carolina)

John Smith (Oklahoma State)

Chris Pendleton (Oregon State)

Kevin Ward (Army)