Former WBU coach reflects on Tamyra Mensah-Stock’s Olympic gold

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:14 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:54 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - One Wayland Baptist University alumna traded the blue and gold for Olympic gold. Tuesday, wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock won the Women’s 68 Kg Freestyle. She went viral after her emotional and patriotic post-match interview. Her college coach when she was at WBU, Johnny Cobb, says it’s been quite the journey for her, but he’s so proud.

“It’s still just pretty unreal, you know, seeing her being interviewed on Fox and Friends, and the Today Show. And she’s just such a dynamic personality and her vivaciousness just electrifies a room,” Cobb said.

The Katy, Texas, native started her wrestling career in high school. Cobb, who started the program at Wayland in 2010, first saw Tamyra compete at the state championship.

“I told my assistant coach at that time, hey whatever it takes, we’re gonna get that young lady to Wayland Baptist University,” Cobb said.

Cobb coached her from the sidelines when she won two national championships at Wayland. After he retired, he became a volunteer for the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club to keep coaching her.

“To have Wayland Baptist University, right there in Plainview, Texas, have an Olympic gold medalist has just got to be special and it’s special with a special girl,” Cobb said.

Mensah-Stock is the first black woman for Team USA to win the gold in her sport. She says, that’s just one of many firsts for her.

“That, basically what it means is I’m on the track record. When I was in high school, when I first started wrestling I was the first ever state champion at our high school. Like ever, out of any sports. Then when I went to college I was the first national team champion in wrestling. So, it’s kind of an honor to be the first black woman. I’m like there is a pattern here, what else can I do?” Mensah-Stock said.

She adds it’s been an extremely tough journey and she’s lost a lot of people along the way. Her father, one of her biggest supporters, died while she was in high school.

Cobb says he became a “coach-dad” in her life, and when he see’s her this is what he’ll say.

“I love you kiddo. You’ve done good,” Cobb said.

Cobb believes that along with Mensah-Stock’s personality, her patriotism has made her a superstar. He hopes that her love for our country can help bring people together.

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