Oklahoma State associate head wrestling coach Eric Guerrero was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this weekend as a Distinguished Member, which is the highest honor a wrestler can receive.
A Distinguished Member can be a wrestler who has achieved extraordinary success in national and/or international competition, a coach who has demonstrated great leadership in the profession and has compiled an outstanding record, a contributor whose long-term activities have substantially enhanced the development and advancement of the sport, or a combination of the above qualifications.
Guerrero, a native of San Jose, Calif., wrestled for the Pokes from 1996-1999, compiling a 117-13 overall record. He is one of 13 four-time All-Americans for the Cowboys and earned national titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999. His senior year was highlighted by a perfect 31-0 record, a Big 12 title and his third NCAA title.
As an international competitor, Guerrero earned a spot on the world team five years in a row from 1999-2003, wrestling in four World Championships and the 2004 Athens Olympics.
He won four U.S. Open Titles from 2001-2004 and a World Cup Championship in 2003.
In 2001, Guerrero was hired on as the Cowboys' strength and conditioning coach and in 2005, he was named assistant coach. With Guerrero on staff, OSU has produced two NCAA team championships, five Big 12 Championships, 11 national champions and 36 All-Americans.
He joins other Cowboy greats such as John Smith, Kenny Monday and Kendall Cross, just to name a few. The Cowboys now have 32 athletes and coaches inducted as Distinguished Members.
"To be honored as a Distinguished Member of the Hall of Fame is humbling. The ceremony only accentuated that feeling as our Class of 2014 had a Congressman and two Navy SEAL war heroes, on top of everyone's wrestling accolades," Guerrero said. "It brought me a great sense of pride to look out and see so many former teammates and mentors, who also wrestled at Oklahoma State and wore the orange singlet. When I chose Oklahoma State in 1995, I thought I understood what excellence was, but I had no idea. The inspiration in this program is unparalleled—from 1915 until today. I believed then and I believe it now that we are a product of our environment. I am no different. Oklahoma State wrestling owes me nothing, but I owe everything to Oklahoma State wrestling, and I rise everyday doing my best to repay the debt of what I have received."
Other Distinguished Members in the Class of 2014 were Dean Lahr (University of Colorado), Mickey Martin (University of Oklahoma) and Kerry McCoy (Penn State).
Chance Marsteller, an incoming freshman for the Pokes, was also recognized by the Hall of Fame, earning the Dave Schultz High School Excellence national award for turning in a high school campaign of 166-0 en route to four Pennsylvania state high school championships while at Kennard-Dale High School. The award also recognizes outstanding academic performance as well as community service.
Marsteller is the first Cowboy to receive the honor since fellow Pennsylvanian Coleman Scott in 2004.