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Remembering Dave Schultz TheMat 2010


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My vision of this section has always been to have a separate “Remembering” Thread for most of the legendary  wrestlers, coaches, teams, and tournament there have been.  A easy to filter through living historical archive to pull information from or add future stories/details too.   The Shultz thread is one of them that made me want to push to keep these stories somewhere noticeable and a solid first stop to rebuilding an even better version of the Legend of the Mat section.  

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Gary Abbott


Posted December 9, 2010

On this day when the national news is focused on the death of John E. du Pont, we ask those in the wrestling community to share their thoughts about the life of Olympic champion Dave Schultz, who was murdered by du Pont in 1996.

Post your memories of Dave Schultz below, and share your personal thoughts about his remarkable life on and off the mat.




Never had the opportunity to wrestle with him .... but ....

1985, Oki City, NCAA Championships, I'm in the All-American / blood round -- had a kid from Stanford (Wiggens). I felt pretty good about my chances of becoming a D-I All-American (first for my college) until I looked over and saw Dave Shultz sitting in the other kid's corner. Tried to stay positive (giving myself pep talks throughout the match), but after every stoppage of wrestling, there was Dave Shultz, staring me down. 🙂

He was a national (and international) wrestling treasure! RIP - sir.





An amazing human being.

I had my guys freestylin in Vegas once. Just before the finals, a few of our guys were riding the escalator up and then sliding down the rail to the bottom. Suddenly Dave was at the bottom as the wrestlers landed at the stairway landing...after a few moments of awkward embarrassment by our guys, he said looks like fun, and rode up and slid down the rails. I know it doesn't sound like such a big deal, but I had convinced our wrestlers that Dave Schultz was God. He won his finals match with some funky flip over the back from a front headlock technique. Our guys talked about it for years. He was such a bright spot in our sport. I've always felt that John Dupont was actually seriously mentally ill. I suppose such people are pitied, but he stole a jewell from us.



Edited by jross
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Dave came and did a clinic in my hometown. I lived in the middle of nowhere. My coach convinced his wife to send him. It was my 2nd year of wrestling and I was catching on pretty quick. Low and behold when he came to show moves, he used ME! as a demonstration partner. I couldnt believe what was going on. I felt so special after that, like I was some kind of big shot. Him and his wife sent my coach a christmas card every year after that.



I went to the 1995 Worlds in Atlanta, and I recall Dave Schultz walking past the Iranian contingent after he had won a match. He had a big smile on his face as their fans cheered and cheered.




Where to start?

My first thought after hearing that John DuPont had passed away in prison was one of due justice, which quickly turned to quilt that I found some sort of comfort is someone's death. Yet some acts are just too evil to forget. DuPont--evil and feeble DuPont--shooting defenseless Dave Schultz is one of those.

Now about Dave: I 1st met Dave @ the '76 pre-wrestle-off Olympic training camp @ N. Ill. Dave--the consummate student of wrestling--was a H.S. Sr. and had volunteered to wash the mats in order to watch and learn. After practice a few days into the camp, Dave mustered up enough courage to ask me, "would you go a TD or 2 w/ me." The last thing I wanted to do was go a few TDs w/ a H.S. wrestler after the punishing practice coach Baughman and Gable had just put us through. Nonetheless I obliged Dave. After we wrestled, Dave peppered me w/ questions. Like feeding a stray dog, Dave would return and ask me to wrestle regularly--which was the beginning of our bond.

As US National coach--'78 to '84--I had the privilege of coaching Dave @ the '83 World C. & '84 Olympics, so I watched him develop. The '83 World Championship was Dave's 1st. Until the '83 Worlds, Dave was generally second to Lee Kemp, our 1st US wrestler to win multiple World titles. In Kiev [not a hospitable environment for an American to wrestle Magomadov URS], Dave rose to the challenge and won the title on his first attempt. Dave eventually became the most technically knowledgeable and popular worldwide of our US wrestlers. He is missed.




I was fortunate to have had Dave as my coach throughout my college carreer. On those tough days when I was beat up and broken, Dave was always the guy who would get me back on my feet, inspired, and wanting to train and wrestle more. He was always the guy that reminded me in his own magical ways that the grind of becoming a champion wrestler was a worthy one.

There are a rare few that could wrestle on his level, but, no one ever loved wrestling more than Dave Schultz.


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