OSU's Big 12 title marred by death of Smith's father

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Feb 7, 2007
Sand Springs OK

TULSA -- Less than an hour after learning that his father had died, Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith held up a T-shirt proclaiming his Cowboys as the 2019 Big 12 champions.

After suffering a stroke late in the week, Lee Roy Smith Sr., 83, died around 9 p.m. Sunday, roughly 30 minutes before the Cowboys finished the final match at the BOK Center.

“Tough day,” John Smith said. “But the last thing he asked when he could speak was, he was concerned about the Big 12 Tournament.”

The father of 10, including multiple sons who became widely known in wrestling, Lee Roy Smith Sr. was as big a Cowboy wrestling fan as anyone.

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