Former Blackwell Maroon and Oklahoma State Cowboy Tanner Allen was hired on Tuesday as the Wrestling Head Coach at Cashion High School.
Allen was one of the best wrestlers in the state during his time as a Maroon. He went 120-18 at Blackwell, including capturing the 2014 state title as a heavyweight in his senior season. Allen went on to wrestle at Oklahoma State University where he compiled a 29-17 record. It was during his time at Oklahoma State that he realized he wanted to be a coach.
“I didn’t know I wanted to coach until I got to Oklahoma State and started doing the summer camps,” Allen said. “It kind of opened me up to a new path and I really enjoyed helping kids. It’s not just the wrestling aspect of it, it’s the fact you get to help kids in so many different aspects of life.”
Allen has wrestled under historically great coaches in Coach EJ Edgar (Blackwell) and Coach John Smith (Oklahoma State). While this will be Allen’s first coaching job, he feels that he is more than equipped to excel at Cashion.
“Almost everything that I’m going to teach these guys is what I’ve learned from Coach Edgar and Coach Smith. The ways they coached people, the different ways they talk to kids—I’ve seen those guys do it all and that’s what I’m going to try and take from them.
“The main thing I learned that I kind of want to pass on is that you don’t have to be some freak athlete or have 10 years of knowledge to be great. As long as you have the mental focus and the will to win, you can be great. It’s about how tough you are and how bad you want to win.”
Allen takes over a wrestling program that is still in the infant stages. The Wildcats inaugural season was just last year. The newness of it makes Allen and the Wildcats excited. They have a chance to form an identity and that has Allen ready to get things started.
“I’m so pumped about that,” Allen said. “Being from Blackwell and Oklahoma State, if anyone knows anything about wrestling, when those teams walk into a gym people know who they are,” Allen said. “That’s what I want to bring to Cashion. I want people’s head to turn when we walk in and say ‘oh Cashion’s here, they have some really tough dudes.’ I know Cashion is really good in pretty much everything, and I’m pumped about that, too. That means they know how to win. They’ve already go that mindest instilled into them.”