Jack Spates built programs into regional and national powers as a wrestling coach. As head coach at the University of Oklahoma, he led them to seven top-10 finishes at NCAA tournament and a Big 12 title; additionally he served as assistant coach at United States Military Academy and University of Pittsburgh.
Early Life and Education
Jack Spates of Smithtown, New York began wrestling at age 10. Since then he has gone on to win three PSAC Championships at Slippery Rock University and finished as the NCAA Runner-up the following year.
Spates has led the Oklahoma Sooners to six Big 12 conference championships during his 18 seasons as head coach, producing several national champions and All-Americans along the way. Additionally, he has served as coach at both United States Military Academy and University of Pittsburgh.
Though Spates has achieved much on the mat, his personal life has not always been smooth sailing. In this episode he opens up about all aspects of his life–good, bad, ugly and redemptive alike. He shares how hard work has helped him identify the appropriate questions to ask while finding solutions through God’s pursuit of his heart.
Jack Spates was a two-time National Champion and four-time All-American wrestler who transitioned into coaching following his wrestling career. Since then, he has guided multiple NCAA top 3 finishes with teams under his direction while developing several national champions and multiple All-Americans – serving as head wrestling coach at Pittsburgh, West Point, and Cornell universities respectively.
At Cornell, he amassed an enviable 74-14-1 record and transformed a program with no scholarships into one of the most powerful teams in both Eastern and national competition. His last two teams dominated Eastern Championships for two straight years – boasting nine individual champions each time around.
Jeremy recently returned to Oklahoma as an assistant coach, with primary responsibility for middle and lower weight classes. His work is an integral component of Oklahoma’s recent success – including their fifth-place finish at this year’s NCAA tournament!
Achievement and Honors
Jack Spates has accomplished much during his distinguished coaching career. He has guided numerous All-Americans and secured multiple Big 12 conference championships; additionally he received the National Coach of the Year Award.
Spates began his coaching career at Baptist Bible College in 1975. Since then, he has served as an assistant coach at both University of Pittsburgh and United States Military Academy, before taking over head coaching duties at Cornell University in 1993. Jeremy currently wrestles for Missouri.
Spates is widely recognized for his 18-year tenure at Oklahoma. During that time, he helped return them to prominence on the national wrestling scene by compiling an outstanding 243-97-12 record and winning two Big 12 championships while producing six NCAA champions during that period and recruiting numerous top talent into Oklahoma wrestling programs.
Jack Spates is married and the proud parent of four children: Jessica, Jeremy, Justin and Jenilyn. Jeremy serves as an assistant wrestling coach at Cornell University.
Spates was a Division II national champion at 118 pounds while attending Slippery Rock University and served as an assistant wrestling coach at both Pittsburgh and USMA.
Coach Spates’ remarkable journey as a wrestling and coaching teacher and wrestler will leave you incredibly inspired and moved by this podcast episode. His tale will leave you feeling fulfilled.
Kier Spates is renowned comedian, entertainer, actor, writer and producer. Probably best known for his commentaries as Junior on Steve Harvey Morning Show; Kier has also toured popular stage plays and made television appearances which has earned him much acclaim from audiences everywhere.
The Spates may not be as well-known as some of their rival wrestling families – the Smiths, Banachs or Peerys – but their diversity makes up for any shortfall in prestige. Jeremy currently competes at Missouri where his father once served as coach; Justin wrestles for Rob Waller from Mount Pleasant Pennsylvania who once led Slippery Rock as coach before finishing second at NCAA Nationals himself.
Waller agreed to let Justin transfer back to Cornell if their team requested him, though due to Big Ten regulations he must wait one year after making that decision.