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Hazewinkel takes Oklahoma City University men’s wrestling coaching reins

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University has chosen Sam Hazewinkel as its men’s wrestling head coach.

Hazewinkel had been on the Central Oklahoma coaching staff as an assistant coach the past two years. Hazewinkel became a four-time NCAA all-American wrestling for the University of Oklahoma, then competed for the United States in the Olympics.

The Stars went 8-2 in duals with two all-Americans and three Sooner Athletic Conference individual champions. OCU finished 20th in the NAIA Championships, second in the SAC Championships and ranked 20th in the national postseason rankings in 2017-18.

“I’m excited to have someone with Sam’s experience leading Oklahoma City University men’s wrestling,” Oklahoma City athletic director Jim Abbott said. “Sam has excelled as a student-athlete, competitor and coach, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact that he has on OCU wrestling.”

Hazewinkel said, “I am excited to be the head coach, but I’m more excited to teach the philosophies that will drive these young men to be successful in the classroom, on the mat and in life. I’ve had a lot of great people help me become who I am. I’m ready to help these next generations of young men become successful. Oklahoma City University is giving me the opportunity and support to see this happen. I couldn’t be more encouraged and excited to get started.”

With Central Oklahoma, Hazewinkel helped the Bronchos go 31-5 in duals the past two seasons with the program’s first unbeaten dual record in 2016-17. Central Oklahoma had four NCAA Division II all-Americans including 125-pound national champion Eli Hale from 2016-18.

Hazewinkel achieved the Olympic dream by clinching a spot on Team USA for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Hazewinkel is a four-time U.S. Open champion, two-time Pan American champion and nine-time U.S. national team member. Hazewinkel was a 2008 University World Greco-Roman Champion. The same year, he served as alternate for the Olympics.
Hazewinkel’s family was awarded the National Wrestling Hall of Fame legacy award as his father Dave and uncle Jim were also Olympic wrestlers. Sam and his father, Dave, are the only father-son Olympians in American wrestling history.

During his college career, Hazewinkel earned four all-American nods and three Big 12 championships. Hazewinkel finished as NCAA runner-up at 125 pounds with a 25-1 record as a senior with three third-place national finishes. He posted a 132-10 mark for the Sooners. He owns a communications degree from Oklahoma.

Hazewinkel went unbeaten during his high school career at Pensacola Christian Academy (Fla.). He went 140-0 with three state championships.

Sam is married (Rachel) and has two children (Josh and Ava).

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