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Tribute to David Schultz

David L. Schultz, a devoted husband and father and 1984 Olympic gold medalist, was killed in Newtown Square, Pa., on Friday, January 26,1996. He was 36.

At the time of his death, Mr. Schultz was a wrestling coach for Team Foxcatcher in Newtown Square and a top prospect for the 1996 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team at 163 pounds. He was currently ranked No. 1 in the United States in his weight class. Prior to joining Team Foxcatcher, Mr. Schultz was an assistant wrestling coach at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Stanford Univ. and the Univ. of Oklahoma.

Five-time World champion Bruce Baumgartner said, "I have known Dave for almost 15 years, and he was the most unselfish and giving person I have ever met. He was the most devoted father and husband - he loved his kids hind family. Obviously, Dave was one of the best technical and strategic wrestlers, and one of the best coaches. I have heard from so many of his students who loved him, from the high school level to the international arena. Dave was always upbeat and positive, with a smile on his face."

Long-time friend and teammate Ed Giese: "If Dave was wrestling - he revolutionized the sport. Dave was bigger than life, touching everyone he met in a positive light. My sincere sympathies go out to his family. Dave loved Nancy and the kids with this same passion. l will never forget him or the things that we did together. He was my idol in life, and beyond."

Throughout his career, Schultz won almost every honor available in the sport of wrestling. His career highlights include 1984 Olympic Champion, 1983 World Champion, three-time World silver medalist, and two-time World Bronze medalist. He was a Goodwill Games champion in 1986, a Pan American Games Champion in 1987, and a World Cup champion in four times.

1995 World Champion Kurt Angle said, "Dave was the godfather of USA Wrestling, contributing as a coach, a leader and an athlete. He cared about everyone, and always put people first, no matter who you were. He even learned six or seven languages so that he could speak to different athletes. I loved him and respected him, and he will be greatly missed."

Three-time World-level Champion Kevin Jackson said, "Dave was my wrestling mentor and my hero. He had the greatest technical mind of any wrestler, and his love of wrestling inspired everyone he ever met. He has touched so many lives. I loved Dave, and I am really going to miss him."

Mr. Schultz received many honors and awards from the world of wrestling, including Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler at the 1984, 1987, and 1993 U.S. Nationals and the 1981 AAU Nationals. In addition, Mr. Schultz set numerous records. He is first in most Tbilisi Tournament titles with two; second in most World and Olympic Medals with seven; second in most World Medals with six; tied for second in most World Cup Medals with seven; and tied for fourth in most Freestyle National titles with eight.

Iowa State Coach Bobby Douglas said, "Dave was the renaissance of wrestling, and we have all lost a great friend. His loyalty to the sport of wrestling, and to his family, his teammates, his colleagues and his students was unmatched. And his enthusiasm for his family was inspiring. American wrestling has lost a great athlete. America has lost a great person."

James E. Scherr, Executive Director of USA Wrestling said, "There was literally not a wrestler Dave wasn't willing to help. He had a profound impact on virtually all of the elite athletes in the U.S. in the last 15 years, as a competitor, coach and friend. He will be irreplaceable among the wrestling community. He touched the lives of thousands of people, all of whom were enriched by his spirit. He shared his love and enthusiasm for wrestling with everybody he met, making friends wherever he traveled. He was loved by wrestling fans here in the United States and all over the world. USA Wrestling wishes to offer condolences to the family and friends of Dave Schultz. We share their grief and sense of loss at this time."

Mr. Schultz's widow, Nancy Schultz, said, "Our family is devastated and saddened by Dave's death. He was not only a world class athlete, coach and mentor, but a devoted and loving father to our children and husband to me for the past 14 years. Dave will be missed so much by his family, friends and the wrestling community around the world. Dave had a passion for his sport and an enthusiasm for life that was unmatched. Over the past few days, we have heard people across the country and around the globe whose lives Dave has touched. Their kind support, outpouring of love, and fond memories of Dave have helped sustain us during this very difficult time. My family must now turn its focus and energy to my children, Alexander and Danielle who had a very close relationship with their father, and who are struggling to understand how and why this tragedy happened, and how they will possibly fill this void in their lives."

Mr. Schultz was born on June 6, 1959 in Palo Alto, California. He was a California state high school champion for Palo Alto High School in 1977. Mr. Schultz attended the Univ. of Oklahoma, where he was an NCAA champion in 1982.

Mr. Schultz is survived by his wife, Nancy and their children Alexander, 9, and Danielle, 6. He is also survived by his father, Philip G. Schultz, a counselor, his mother, Dorothy Jearl St. Germain, a clothes designer, and his brothers and sister, Mark, Seanna, and Michael.

Friends and family attended a Memorial Service on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 p.m. at the Palestra Gym on the Univ. of Pennsylvania campus, located on 33rd Street, between Spruce and Walnut, Philadelphia, Pa.

A fund has been established in memory David Schultz for the welfare of his family. Those that wish to contribute can send donations to the:
David Schultz Family Endowment
c/o USA Wrestling
615 Lehman Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918.

Cards and expressions of sympathy may also directed to the above address.

David Schultz's Career

  • 1984 Olympic Champion
  • 1983 World Champion
  • Three-time World silver medalist (1985, 1987, 1993)
  • Two-time World bronze medalist (1982, 1986)
  • Four-time World Cup Champion (1980, 1985, 1994-95)
  • Three-time World Cup silver medalist (1978, 1981, 1983)
  • 1987 Pan American Games Champion
  • 1986 Goodwill Games Champion
  • 1994 Goodwill Games silver medalist
  • Two-time Tbilisi Tournament Champion (1984, 1991)
  • Ten-time Senior Nationals Champion, including seven U.S. Nationals freestyle titles, two AAU National Greco-Roman titles and an AAU National freestyle title.
  • Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler at 1984, 1987 & 1993 U.S. Nationals and 1981 MU Nationals.
  • Won his first Senior National title, the 1977 AAU Nationals in Greco-Roman, as a high school senior.
  • 1982 NCAA Champion for the Univ. of Oklahoma
  • Second in 1981 World University Games
  • 1977 Pan American Championships Greco-Roman champion
  • 1977 California state champion for Palo Alto High School
  • Wrestling Coach for the Team Foxcatcher club
  • Assistant Wrestling Coach for the Univ. of Oklahoma, Stanford Univ. and the Univ. of Wisconsin
  • Loving husband, father and friend

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