Mark Schultz (wrestler)

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Mark Schultz
Weight82 kg (181 lb)
Born (1960-10-26) October 26, 1960 (age 61)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
High schoolPalo Alto High School
State championships1 (California)
CollegeUniversity of Oklahoma
NCAA championships3
Olympic teamUnited States
Olympic medalGold

Mark Philip Schultz (born October 26, 1960) is an American freestyle wrestler, 3-time NCAA, Olympic and 2-time World champion for the U.S., and a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame,[1] the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the San Mateo Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.

He and his late older brother Dave Schultz, also a wrestler, were noted for both winning gold medals in wrestling in the same Olympics (1984). They are the only American brothers to win both World and Olympic gold; they won more NCAA, U.S. Open, World, and Olympic titles than any other 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; first-born Dave was 17 months older. They had two half-siblings, Michael and Seana. Schultz is of half Belarusian Jewish and half British/Irish/French/German descent.[3] His paternal grandparents were Estelle (Bernstein), the daughter of a prominent paper company executive, and Maxwell L. Schultz, a business consultant.[4][5] His Maternal grandparents were Dorothy (Starks), a radiologist who graduated from Stanford Medical School #1 in her class, and Willis Rich, a Stanford Ichthyology professor, inventor of the salmon ladder and discovered the "home stream theory" that salmon return to the rivers they were born to spawn before they die. 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. During 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 at 130 lbs. As a senior he did not win any tournaments until the state qualifiers where Schultz won the league, region, section, and the state at 159 lbs. He is the only California High School state champion wrestler never to win a regular season tournament. In contrast, Mark's brother Dave had the greatest high school senior year in history. Mark didn't train with Dave until the summer after Mark's senior year.

Collegiate career[edit]

Schultz was voted by his peers "College Wrestler of the decade" in the book "The Golden Era of Amateur Wrestling: 1980's" by Reginald Rowe. Schultz attended UCLA and went 18-8 at 150 & 158 lbs 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 Schultz moved up to 177 lbs where he faced two-time NCAA Champion (1980, 1981) Ed Banach[7] and former NCAA Champion (at 167 lbs in 1980) Matt Reiss.[8] Banach was on track to become the first 4-time NCAA champion in history; however, Schultz beat Banach 16-8 in "one of, if not the best, NCAA finals match of all time"[9] and was named Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.[10] In his senior year, Schultz went undefeated and set the University of Oklahoma record for most victories in a single season without a loss. Schultz won the 1983 University of Oklahoma "Big 8 Medallion" for Outstanding Senior 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. 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 the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).[11] With one day's notice Schultz replaced Dave Beneteau at UFC 9 in 1996, facing off against the UFC 8 runner-up, Canadian Gary Goodridge. He won the bout by doctor stoppage due to a cut.[12] Schultz was paid $50,000 for his victory. Schultz is ranked by as the greatest wrestler in UFC history.[13] At the time, he was a Head Coach of wrestling at Brigham Young University.

Coaching and competition[edit]

Schultz was the assistant wrestling coach at Brigham Young University from 1991 to 1994, then he was named Head Coach. In 1993, Schultz had his first brazilian jiu-jitsu experience in a match with Rickson Gracie. At the time, only two non-Gracie family members were Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belts. One was Pedro Sauer who coached Mark for 3 years prior to UFC 9. Mark defeated Gary Goodridge at UFC 9.[14] Mark was awarded a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt by Sauer.

Personal life[edit]

He married Kristy Aileen Thompson in 1990 and divorced in 2002. They have three children, Mark David, Kelli, and Sarah.

On January 26, 1996, Mark's brother Dave Schultz, who had worked as a coach for the "Team Foxcatcher" for multimillionaire philanthropist John Eleuthère du Pont, was shot and killed by Du Pont who had been displaying increasingly odd behavior in the months before the murder. Four months after Dave's murder, Mark competed in and won an early mixed martial arts event at UFC 9.[12] Mark Schultz joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1991.[15]

In media[edit]

  • Foxcatcher (2014) is a feature film written by E. Maxe Frye and Dan Futterman, directed by Bennett Miller, and starring Steve Carell as du Pont, Channing Tatum as Mark, and Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz.
  • Mark Schultz wrote a New York Times best-selling 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.[16]
  • In 2015, director Jesse Vile produced the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The Prince of Pennsylvania starring Mark Schultz, Rob Calabrese, Dan Chaid, Taras Wochuk, Tony DeHaven, and du Pont's wife Gale Wenk. It tells the true story of Team Foxcatcher and the murder of Dave Schultz.[17]
  • In The Golden Era of Amateur Wrestling: 1980's by Reginald Rowe, Schultz was voted by his peers as the greatest collegiate wrestler of the 1980s. Ed Banach, Mark's opponent in the 1982 NCAA finals, was ranked 2nd greatest collegiate wrestler of the 1980s. Ed Banach is a 3-time NCAA Champion and an Olympic Champion. Banach is considered one of the most conditioned athletes of all time.[citation needed]

Athletic titles[edit]

  • 1976 Northern California Age Group (15-16) All-around Gymnastics Champion
  • 1978 California High School State Wrestling Champion
  • 1981, 82, 83 NCAA Champion
  • 1982 Voted NCAA "Outstanding Wrestler"
  • 1982 World Cup Champion
  • 1982-83 won the last 44 matches of his college career.
  • 1983 Set the University of Oklahoma record for most victories in a single season without a loss
  • 1984 Olympic Champion
  • 1985, 87 World Champion
  • 1985 Wrestling Masters Magazine "International Wrestler of the Year"
  • 1984, 85, 86, 87 National Open Freestyle Champion
  • 1983, 85, 87 National Sports Festival Champion
  • 1987 Pan American Games Champion
  • 1987 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year
  • 1987 Sullivan Award Nominee
  • 1987 Olympian Magazine Sportsman of the Year
  • 1995 Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • 1996 Won the Ultimate Fighting Championships IX. Retired with a 1-0 No-holds-barred record.
  • 2000 Inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • 2010 Inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 2013 Awarded the Lifetime Service Award by the California Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • 2015 Inducted into the San Mateo Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 2015 Mark's autobiography "Foxcatcher" is turned into a 5-time Oscar nominated motion picture. Foxcatcher becomes a New York Times best-seller
  • 2016 Presented with black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Pedro Sauer[18]
  • 2016 In "The Golden Era of Amateur Wrestling: 1980's" by Reginald Rowe, Schultz was voted by his peers as the greatest collegiate wrestler of the 1980s.
  • 2020 Mark's autobiography "Foxcatcher" becomes an Amazon "Editor's Pick."

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

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 Schultz was entered in as a late replacement for another fighter.


  1. ^ "Honoree: Mark Schultz". National Wrestling Hall of Fame. 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "Mark P Schultz". 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  3. ^ "Mark Schultz: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  4. ^ World Biography. 2–3. New York, N.Y.: Institute for Research in Biography. 1948. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Who's Who of American Women. Marquis Who's Who. January 1976. ISBN 978-0-8379-0409-2. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Brown, George; Prioleau, Cassie (February 19, 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 January 2, 2012.
  7. ^ "Honoree: Ed Banach". Stillwater, OK: National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  8. ^ "NC State Wrestling's History of Success". CBSi Advanced Media. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  9. ^ Moore, Roger (February 10, 2012). "Schultz-Banach bout among the best: Championship matches make indelible mark on wrestling fans". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  10. ^ "52nd NCAA Wrestling Tournament results" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  11. ^ "UFC Olympic Gold medalist wrestlers". Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Messano, Tommy (August 15, 2008). "What a medal can mean to mixed martial artists". ESPN Sports. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "Factgrinder: The 25 Greatest Wrestlers in UFC History". Bloody Elbow. August 11, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  14. ^ "Mark Schultz vs. Gary Goodridge, UFC 9 | MMA Bout".
  15. ^ Toone, Trent. "Mormons in Olympic history | Deseret News". Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  16. ^ Schultz, Mark & Thomas, David (2014). Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold. Penguin. ISBN 978-0241971994.
  17. ^ "The Prince of Pennsylvania - ESPN Films: 30 for 30".
  18. ^ "Wrestling Legend Mark Schultz Promoted to BJJ Black Belt by Pedro Sauer". 15 March 2016.

External links[edit]