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Best Wrestlers in Oklahoma State History

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Here's some sidenotes on the Keller twins......

Keller brothers among greatest OSU wrestlers

By Berry Tramel
The Oklahoman

EDMOND -- After all these years, the Keller twins remain identical. Even down to their chosen profession.

NCAA wrestling champions for Oklahoma State in 1970, Dwayne and Darrell Keller bridged the Myron Roderick and Tommy Chesbro coaching eras.

Dwayne, NCAA champ in 1968 and '70, was Roderick's last national titlist and Chesbro's first. Darrell was NCAA champ in 1970 and '71.

Now both are homebuilders, Dwayne in Edmond and Darrell in greater Phoenix.

"I graduated (from OSU), and it was either teach and coach or build houses," Dwayne said.

The Kellers' father had been a homebuilder back in Kennewick, Wash., and Roderick had lined up Dwayne with a summer job framing houses, so the career was a natural.

So was wrestling. Dwayne, at 123 pounds, and Darrell, at 142, each won an outstanding wrestler award with the Cowboys.

Darrell beat Washington's Larry Owings in the '71 NCAA finals, the year after Owings beat Dan Gable for the crown in what remains the sport's greatest upset.

Dwayne came close to winning three NCAA titles. He was beaten in the finals his senior year by Oregon State's Roger Weigel.

"My son was born that morning," Dwayne said. Plus, he was overconfident, having dominated Weigel as a workout partner on a European tour. "I just got too hyper all day long," Dwayne said. "My energy level was zero. If I had wrestled him two days later, I would have thumped him."

Still, the Kellers remain among the greatest Cowboys ever.

"When I was in high school, I didn't even know there was college wrestling," Dwayne said. "When Myron Roderick started recruiting me, I didn't even know where Oklahoma was."

The twins were born 12 minutes apart -- Darrell is older -- but separated after high school. Dwayne came to OSU; Darrell went to a Washington junior college.

"Roderick didn't know there was two of us," Dwayne said. "I kept telling him I had a twin brother. He asked me, "Is he any good?'"

Yes, national-championship good. Just like his brother.

 

#2

In 1968 as a sophomore, Dwayne beat Rick Sanders in the NCAA finals, allowing us to win the NCAA team title. Sanders had won the outstanding wrestler award in the tournament the year before and was generally expected to win it again, until upset by Dwayne. I was a kid listening to it on the radio. To this day, it is still probably my favorite moment in Cowboy sports.

 

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