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Friday, January 30, 2015

No Holds Barred: Coach Mark Cody on Oklahoma Sooners Wrestling 2015 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Mark Cody, the head wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma.

Now in his fourth season as the Sooners' wrestling coach, he has also become the president of the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA).

This weekend, Oklahoma hosts two dual meets at the McCasland Field House in Norman, Oklahoma. On Saturday, January 31, they host number 8 Iowa State, and on Sunday, February 1, they host number 20 Oregon State. Both meets start at 2 PM CST/3 PM EST and will be televised live in the U.S. on Fox College Sports Central and replayed later, as well as televised on other regional networks. As always, check your local listings.

We spoke with Coach Cody by phone Thursday.

His team this year is one of the youngest in college wrestling, with only one senior starter along with several freshmen. Especially as they have improved during the course of the season, he has big plans for them, both on and off the mat.

"My goal here is to win the academic championship and win a national championship in wrestling -- several national championships," he said.

"That means that we have to have a special group of guys. And we have to continue to recruit unique individuals that are willing to buy into everything that we're asking of them here. But as far as everything being in place for that to happen, it's great. I couldn't ask for more support."

We discussed some of the outstanding wrestlers on the Oklahoma Sooners and how this young team has been progressing. We also discussed his five-year plan, the "family atmosphere" at Oklahoma wrestling, his own accomplishments in pushing academics while coaching at American University prior to coming to Oklahoma, the effect on wrestling of the O'Bannon decision requiring some colleges to compensate some of their top athletes, how coaches have to ensure that their programs remain "relevant" on their campuses, marketing wrestling, the continuing task of recruiting, their no-drugs and no-drinking policy for their team, and much more.

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