Jason Smith was one of Iowa State’s best wrestlers during the most prosperous period in the storied Cyclone wrestling program. Smith earned All-America honors three times and captured a pair of NCAA crowns to help ISU win back-to-back NCAA team titles in 1969 and 1970.
The Ankeny, Iowa, native began his run in the 167-pound weight class as a sophomore in 1968, placing third nationally while aiding ISU to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. Smith won his first and only Midlands championship that season.
The 167-pounder was in top form his final two seasons. He won his first NCAA title in 1969, edging Cal Poly SLO’s John Woods 5-4 in the final. Smith registered two pins along the way as the Cyclones ran away with the team title, their third in school history, by 35 points. Smith and Iowa State repeated as NCAA champs in 1970. Smith went 21-1-1 in his senior season, claiming both the Big Eight and NCAA crowns at 167 pounds. Smith’s win over Iowa’s Phil Henning in the NCAA championship match was one of three ISU individual champs, handing the Cyclones their third NCAA title in six years.
Smith finished his outstanding career with a 44-5-5 overall record, as the Cyclones went 30-3 in dual meets, won two NCAA titles and one Big Eight crown in his last two seasons. Smith was invited to wrestle in the East-West All-Star Wrestling Classic after his Cyclone career ended. In all, Smith won seven career individual titles, including the world college title in Turkey in 1968.