By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Each time Oklahoma State University freshman wrestler Lincoln Lemon attends practice at the wrestling room inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, there’s something unique about that experience.
He’s related to the person whose name is on the building as Lemon is the great-great-grandson of Ed Gallagher.
“I definitely wanted to wrestle here,” Lemon said. “Kind of be a part of what (Gallagher) developed here.”
Gallagher coached wrestling at Oklahoma State, which at the time was Oklahoma A&M from 1916-1940. According to the article on the Wrestling Hall of Fame website, the former coach was known for his scientific approach to wrestling. He used his engineering knowledge of leverages and stresses to develop 400 wrestling holds.
During his tenure, the then-Aggies went 138-5-4. In 1928, during the first NCAA Tournament, Oklahoma A&M won four of seven individual titles to claim the first team championship. Gallagher coached 10 outright national championship teams and one co-champion. 37 Oklahoma A&M wrestlers won NCAA titles and three won gold medals. Gallagher earned the nickname of “father of wrestling.”
Lemon said most of his teammates didn’t know he was related to Gallagher until later in the preseason.
“(The team) didn’t know until October of this year,” Lemon said. “I didn’t try to make it a big deal.”
Coach John Smith told fans of Lemon’s relationship at Wrestling 101 in November. The freshman said he knew his whole life.
“My dad (Randy) told me when I was little,” Lemon said. “I’ve always known. It’s kind of cool.”
Lemon said his dad influenced him into the sport.
“My dad wrestled, so that’s how I got into it,” Lemon said. “(Being related to Gallagher) influenced me a little bit but it was really my dad.”
In his high school career in Goodard, Kan., Lemon posted a record of 129-26 and qualified for state every season, including a runner-up finish last season. Other honors include winning third at the Brute Nationals in 2011 and won the Wendy’s High School Heisman. Besides wrestling, Lemon won track and cross country.
This season, Lemon competed at the University of Central Missouri Open and the Lindenwood Open at 141 pounds but hasn’t competed in the duals. The freshman said he looks forward to getting more action in the future on the floor named after his great-great grandfather.
“People are like ‘Are you related to him,’” Lemon said. “I tell them ‘yeah’. It’s pretty cool.”