Mark Cody announced Thursday that he has resigned as the University of Oklahoma's head wrestling coach after five years at the post.
"I am extremely grateful to have had the privilege to coach at the University of Oklahoma," said Cody. "I believe it is time for new leadership and for this reason I am resigning effective immediately. I want to wish nothing but the best for everyone associated with the program."
Cody, who led the Sooners to a 55-34 (.618) overall record and to a 10th-place NCAA finish in 2014, coached five OU wrestlers to a total of 10 All-America honors. Two of those wrestlers — Kendric Maple in 2013 and Cody Brewer in 2015 — won national championships.
Cody was also instrumental in developing wrestlers off the mat and in fostering an OU Wrestling presence in the community. His student-athletes earned a total of 13 National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic All-America honors, and OU's six Academic All-Americans during the 2013-14 school year were most in the nation. He also instituted an anti-bullying campaign last year in which his wrestlers and staff routinely spoke to students at area elementary schools.
"I want to express our sincere appreciation for the leadership Mark has provided the last five years," said OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. "In addition to producing some highly accomplished wrestlers, he developed high-character student-athletes who also performed well in the classroom. Mark was well respected by his student-athletes, by members of the OU community and by his peers. We thank him for his time here and we wish him the very best."
Cody, who came to OU after nine years as head coach at American University, led the Eagles to a program-best fifth-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships. He also had assistant coaching stints at Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Missouri and Bloomsburg.
From Binghamton, N.Y., Cody was a three-time All-American as a wrestler in college. He spent two years at the State University of New York at Delhi before transferring to Missouri in 1983. His greatest success came during his senior season of 1984-85 when he earned All-America status and was named the team's most outstanding wrestler. He graduated from Bellevue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business.
Castiglione said that Michael Lightner, who has served as an OU assistant coach for the last seven years, has been named interim head coach. Lightner was a four-time Big 12 champion and four-time All-American at OU, and won a national title in 2001.