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David Taylor adds Penn State wrestling teammate to Oklahoma State staff

David Taylor has reunited with a former Penn State wrestling teammate to serve a key role on his staff at Oklahoma State. Is Taylor bringing Cael Sanderson’s culture to Stillwater?



Penn State wrestling, David Taylor, Oklahoma State, Bryan Pearsall
David Taylor reacts as Levi Haines (not pictured) talks about the influence Taylor has had on his life during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Wrestling Pre-Event Press Conference at the Bryce Jordan Center April 18, 2024, in State College.

Another member of the Penn State wrestling world is heading to Stillwater to join newly hired head coach David Taylor. Bryan Pearsall will serve as the recruiting coordinator for the Oklahoma State wrestling program this upcoming season. Pearsall was a four-year starter with the Nittany Lions during his time on the mats. He graduated from Penn State in 2013 and has most recently served as an assistant and associate head coach at the University of Pennsylvania since 2017.

Bryan Pearsall is headed to Oklahoma State

Before his time with UPenn, Bryan Pearsall was a part of the Army wrestling staff from 2014-2017 and the Rutgers staff during the 2013-14 season. All of his previous coaching stops saw much success in the EIWA and at a high level of recruiting.

Pearsall was a key member of the Penn State wrestling team during the 2011-2013 NCAA Championship teams under Cael Sanderson. It was announced on Friday that Pearsall will join David Taylor at Oklahoma State; he will serve as the Cowboys’ recruiting coordinator. Pearsall was a teammate of Taylor for four years, so this move makes a lot of sense.

“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the next chapter of Oklahoma State wrestling,” Pearsall said in the Cowboys’ official statement. “I believe in Coach Taylor and his vision for the program and know that I can contribute towards Cowboy wrestling reaching new heights.”

Building a Penn State wrestling culture

It seems to be pretty apparent that David Taylor is trying to build a sort of Penn State wrestling 2.0 in Stillwater. He first hired Nittany Lion assistant coach Jimmy Kennedy to be his associate head coach. It was the first crack in the dam of the Penn State wrestling program that we have seen in decade-plus under Cael Sanderson.

Next, Taylor hired former Iowa Hawkeye wrestling great and Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Gilman away from the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club to be his assistant coach for the Cowboys.

This latest move is just another example of the culture that David Taylor is trying to build at Oklahoma State. He is bringing people in that he has either trained with in college or at the international level and that he trusts to guide the program in the direction he wants.

If there is anything that David Taylor has learned from Cael Sanderson over the years, it is that program culture directly correlates with having long-term success. How competitive the former Penn State wrestling superstar is with his mentor remains to be seen, but the gap between the programs certainly should be expected to shrink.

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Former contributor at Nittany Central, Patrick joined Basic Blues Nation in 2023 as the Social Media Director, Penn State Wrestling beat writer, and producer of the Penn State Roar Room spaces. Patrick is also a contributor of Penn State football, basketball, and ice hockey news for the site.


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