Mark Schultz (wrestler)

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Mark Schultz
Weight 72 kg
Born October 26, 1960
Palo Alto, California
High school Palo Alto High School
State championships 1 (California)
College University of Oklahoma
NCAA championships 3
Olympic team United States
Olympic medal Gold
Olympic medal record
Men's freestyle wrestling
Gold 1984 Los Angeles – 82 kg
World Championships
Gold 1985 Budapest – 82 kg
Gold 1987 Clermont-Ferrand – 82 kg
Pan American Games
Gold 1987 Indianapolis – 82 kg
World Cup
Gold 1982 Toledo – 82 kg

Mark Philip Schultz (born October 26, 1960) is an Olympic and 2-time World champion freestyle wrestler and a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame,[1] the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, and the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.

He and his older brother Dave Schultz, also a wrestler, were noted for both winning gold medals in wrestling in the same Olympics (1984), as did the American Banach twin brothers. The Schultzes were the only brother pair to win both World and Olympic championships. The Schultz brothers won more NCAA, U.S. Open, World, and Olympic titles than any American brother combination in history.

Early life[edit]

Mark Schultz was born in 1960 in Palo Alto, California to Dorothy Jean St. Germain (née Rich)[2] and Philip Gary Schultz. He was their second son, with a 17 month-older brother Dave. They had two half-siblings, Michael and Seana. Schultz is of half Ukrainian Jewish and half British descent.[3] His paternal grandparents were Estelle (Bernstein), a prominent paper company executive, and Maxwell L. Schultz, a business consultant.[4][5] The boys attended local schools. Schultz got interested in gymnastics and started competing.

Athletic career[edit]

High school career[edit]

Mark Schultz attended Palo Alto High, where he was coached by Ed Hart.[6] He competed first in gymnastics, winning the Northern California All-Around Gymnastics Championships for his age group. His junior year in high school, he moved to Ashland, Oregon and switched to wrestling. After one semester he transferred back to Palo Alto, but was declared ineligible, ending the year with a 4-6 record. As a senior he did not win any tournaments until the state qualifiers; there Schultz won the league, region, section, and the state.

Collegiate career[edit]

Schultz went to UCLA and went 18-8 his freshman year. He transferred to the University of Oklahoma, redshirted, and in the following three years (1981–83) won three NCAA Championships. Schultz was the NCAA Champion his sophomore year at 167 lbs. His junior year he moved up to 177 lbs to challenge two-time NCAA Champion Ed Banach and won. Banach was on track to become the first 4-time NCAA champion in history.

Schultz beat Banach 16-8 and was named the NCAA Outstanding Wrestler. In his weight, he, Ed Banach, and NCAA Champion Matt Reiss won four NCAA championships.[7] The next year Schultz was undefeated and set the University of Oklahoma record for most victories in a single season without a loss. Schultz was named University of Oklahoma's "Big 8" medallion winner for outstanding senior male student-athlete.

Olympics and World championships[edit]

In 1984 Mark and Dave Schultz both won Olympic Gold in wrestling events, as did the American twin Banach brothers. The following year Mark won the World Championships and faced competitors from all the Eastern bloc countries who had boycotted the 1984 Olympics. In the World finals, Mark built a 10-2 lead after one minute and won 10-5. Mark Schultz is the only 1984 Olympic Champion to win the 1985 World Championships; his brother Dave was the only 1984 Olympic Champion to have won the 1983 World Championships. The Schultz brothers won more NCAA, U.S. Open, World, and Olympic titles than any American brother combination in history.

When Schultz won another World Championship in 1987, he became the first Olympic Champion to add two additional World titles; he also tied Lee Kemp's U.S. record for World golds. In 1991 Mark Schultz, Lee Kemp, and John Smith were recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The most world titles won by a U.S. wrestler."

Coaching and mixed martial arts[edit]

After eight years in retirement from wrestling competition, Schultz became the first Olympic gold medalist to enter mixed martial arts under the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).[8] Schultz replaced Dave Beneteau at UFC 9 in 1996, facing off against the Canadian Gary Goodridge. He won the bout by doctor stoppage due to a cut.[9] Schultz was paid $50,000 for his victory. Schultz was ranked by one commentator as the greatest wrestler in UFC history.[10]

He suffered damage to his back in the fight. At the time he was a coach of wrestling at Brigham Young University. After the fight he chose to retire from MMA, and did not compete again, finishing with a record of 1-0.[11]

Coaching and competition[edit]

Schultz was a wrestling coach at Brigham Young University until 2002, when the program was cut. Needing money during a difficult period related to a divorce and custody battle over his three children, in 2003 Schultz accepted $5,000 to fight from Japanese pro-wrestling promoter Antonio Inoki. Schultz has trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Rickson Gracie and Pedro Sauer, and had hoped to introduce the sport at BYU.

Personal life[edit]

On January 26, 1996, his brother Dave, who had worked as a coach of the "Team Foxcatcher" for multimillionaire philanthropist John Eleuthère du Pont, was shot and killed by him. Du Pont had been observed to be displaying increasingly odd behavior in the months before the murder. Four months after Dave's murder, Mark competed in an early mixed martial arts event UFC 9 and won.[9]

Du Pont was convicted of third-degree murder in 1996 and judged to be mentally ill; he was sentenced to 13 to 30 years in prison. He died there of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema on December 9, 2010.[12][13]

In media[edit]

  • Foxcatcher (2014) is a feature film written by E. Maxe Frye and Dan Futterman, directed by Bennett Miller, and starring Channing Tatum as Mark, Steve Carell as du Pont, and Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schulz.
  • Independently, Mark Schultz wrote a memoir, Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold (2014) published the same year as the film was released.[14]

Athletic titles[edit]

  • 1984 Olympic Champion
  • 1985, 87 World Champion
  • 1981, 82, 83 NCAA Champion
  • 1984, 85, 86, 87 National Open Freestyle Champion
  • 1987 Pan American Games Champion
  • 1982 World Cup Champion
  • 1983, 85, 87 National Sports Festival Champion
  • 1978 California High School State Champion
  • 1976 Northern California Age Group (15-16) All-around Cymnastics Champion
  • 1982 Unanimously voted "Outstanding Wrestler" at the NCAA Championship
  • 1987 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year
  • 1987 Sullivan Award Nominee
  • 1987 Olympic Magazine Sportsman of the Year
  • 1985 Wrestling Masters Magazine "International Wrestler of the Year"
  • 1983 Set the University of Oklahoma record for most victories in a single season without a loss
  • 1995 Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • 1996 Fought and won Ultimate Fighting Championships IX. Retired with a 1-0 NHB record.
  • 2000 Inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • 2010 Inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame with his brother Dave Schultz.
  • 2013 Awarded the Lifetime Service Award by the California Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1-0 Gary Goodridge TKO (cut) UFC 9 May 17, 1996 1 12:00 Detroit, Michigan, United States


  1. ^ National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ World Biography, Volumes 2-3
  5. ^ Who's who of American women
  6. ^ Brown, George; Prioleau, Cassie (19 Feb 2010). "Palo Alto High School wrestlers Dave and Mark Schultz remembered for Olympic gold medals, love of wrestling". The Paly Voice. Palo Alto High School. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Mark P. Schultz, Distinguished Member, Class of 1995". Stillwater, OK: National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "UFC Olympic Gold medalist wrestlers". Retrieved 2014-08-28. 
  9. ^ a b "What a medal can mean to mixed martial artists", ESPN Sports
  10. ^ "The 21 greatest wrestlers in UFC history". Bloody Elbow blog, 11 August 2013
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Jeré Longman (December 9, 2010). "John E. du Pont, Heir Who Killed an Olympian, Dies at 72". New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2012. John E. du Pont, an heir to the du Pont chemical fortune whose benevolent support of Olympic athletes deteriorated into delusion and ended in the shooting death of a champion wrestler, died Thursday in a western Pennsylvania prison. He was 72. Mr. du Pont was found unresponsive in his cell at Laurel Highlands State Prison near Somerset, Pa., a prison spokeswoman told The Associated Press. ... 
  13. ^ "Du Pont heir dies in prison". United Press International. December 9, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010. Du Pont fortune heir John E. du Pont, convicted of the 1996 murder of Olympic wrestler David Schulz, died of natural causes, Pennsylvania prison officials said. He was 72. Corrections spokeswoman Sue Bensinger said du Pont was found unresponsive in his Laurel Highland State Correctional Facility cell in Somerset County Thursday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Bensinger said he had been ill for some time. 
  14. ^ Schultz, Mark and David Thomas Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold Penguin: 2014 ISBN 0241971993

External links[edit]