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Remembering Dave Schultz


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#1 GaryAbbott

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:10 AM

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.

#2 Dan_P

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:49 AM

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.

#3 smittyfan

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:35 AM

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 to be pittied, but he sure stole a jewell from us.

#4 quick__single

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:08 AM

Dave Schultz v. Taram Magomadov 1987 Tbilisi

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#5 olddirty

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:32 AM

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.

#6 olddirty

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:32 AM

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.

#7 TheOhioState

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 04:12 AM

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.

They loved the guy.

#8 DuckFor2

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:10 AM

great article, it appears Kenny Monday had a vision of something tragic that was to come. and he was right. RIP

#9 StanDziedzic

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 08:07 AM

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.

#10 gutfirst

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:38 PM

my coach was teaching us relaxation technique and told us a story about how dave could lower his heart rate during a match. anyone else heard of this?

#11 leedobra

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:35 PM

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.

#12 grsombo1

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 04:22 PM

I was a coach at Foxcatcher in the early days of its existence, when they had just 1 mat in the room which was originally an indoor pistol range. I usually led the warm-ups and sometimes showed some upper body techniques. Mark Schultz and Dan Chaid were there at that time. Dave Schultz was not yet training there. We were all former University of Oklahoma wrestlers.





I had a following at Foxcatcher from the guys who wanted to learn Greco. It was pretty much common knowledge that DuPont was not interested in Greco because there wasn’t as much prestige in it from a US perspective. One day I and all my Greco followers were asked to find another place to workout as it was stated there wasn’t enough room for both freestylers and Greco.




I was told by my friends who remained at Foxcatcher that they would be able to convince Dupont to change his mind and ask us back. My wrestlers wanted to come back because of the facilities and the possibility of support from Dupont.








I told everyone, to their disbelief, that I did not want to go back there, even if asked by John Dupont himself. Although he helped me out a few times financially, he reneged on a number of promises to me, and he was not loyal to people unless it served his ego. I believed he could be dangerous, and saw him turn on people for the slightest difference of opinion or displeasure. I had heard he had pulled out a gun several times and thought himself immune from prosecution because of his money and close relationship with the local police.







Dupont could be the nicest, most generous man, and then after some alcohol/drug use would be selfish, cruel and nasty. You never knew which Dupont you were going to get when you showed up at Foxcatcher.










I first met Dave Schultz in 1976 when, as a top 3 finisher in the final Olympic trials and a recognized Greco technician, I was asked to give a clinic on Greco to high school athletes. Dave Schultz was one of those athletes. There was already talk about him from some of the freestyle Olympians who worked with him at the Olympic camp, about his incredible knowledge of wrestling technique.






I ran across him in passing a few times in the early 1990’s at the University of Pennsylvania and a few other spots in the Philadelphia area. We both wrestled in the 1995 World Freestyle championships in Atlanta, with only a nod of recognition between us.





A number of months later in December 1995, Bev Collier, a friend who lived at Foxcatcher, invited me and my girlfriend over to Foxcatcher for a Christmas party. I was assured that DuPont would not be there, so I accepted the invitation.

#13 grsombo1

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 04:24 PM

The Dave Schultz family, Jordanov, and others who lived there on the farm were most kind to me and my date. We had brought cards and a few small tokens, but were surprised and embarrassed that we were given wrapped presents with our names on them. Every one was very hospitable and interested in knowing all about my girlfriend and I and our wrestling involvements in Greco/freesyle/sombo.



That Christmas party was one of the most pleasant and enjoyable experiences I ever had in any area. Dave and Nancy Schultz were wonderful, accepting people to all who were there, and greatly esteemed and appreciated by all.





It was a terrible shock to hear about Dave’s passing several months later.




My girlfriend and I attended the memorial service for Dave at U of Penn, and I did say a few words personally to Nancy a number of years later when she took a team from the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club to the Deglane challenge inFrance.

#14 grsombo1

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 08:18 AM

I was a coach at Foxcatcher in the early days of its existence, when they had just 1 mat in the room which was originally an indoor pistol range. I usually led the warm-ups and sometimes showed some upper body techniques. Mark Schultz and Dan Chaid were there at that time. Dave Schultz was not yet training there. We were all former University of Oklahoma wrestlers.





I had a following at Foxcatcher from the guys who wanted to learn Greco. It was pretty much common knowledge that DuPont was not interested in Greco because there wasn’t as much prestige in it from a US perspective. One day I and all my Greco followers were asked to find another place to workout as it was stated there wasn’t enough room for both freestylers and Greco.




I was told by my friends who remained at Foxcatcher that they would be able to convince Dupont to change his mind and ask us back. My wrestlers wanted to come back because of the facilities and the possibility of support from Dupont.








I told everyone, to their disbelief, that I did not want to go back there, even if asked by John Dupont himself. Although he helped me out a few times financially, he reneged on a number of promises to me, and he was not loyal to people unless it served his ego. I believed he could be dangerous, and saw him turn on people for the slightest difference of opinion or displeasure. I had heard he had pulled out a gun several times and thought himself immune from prosecution because of his money and close relationship with the local police.







Dupont could be the nicest, most generous man, and then after some alcohol/drug use would be selfish, cruel and nasty. You never knew which Dupont you were going to get when you showed up at Foxcatcher.










I first met Dave Schultz in 1976 when, as a top 3 finisher in the final Olympic trials and a recognized Greco technician, I was asked to give a clinic on Greco to high school athletes. Dave Schultz was one of those athletes. There was already talk about him from some of the freestyle Olympians who worked with him at the Olympic camp, about his incredible knowledge of wrestling technique.






I ran across him in passing a few times in the early 1990’s at the University of Pennsylvania and a few other spots in the Philadelphia area. We both wrestled in the 1995 World Freestyle championships in Atlanta, with only a nod of recognition between us.





A number of months later in December 1995, Bev Collier, a friend who lived at Foxcatcher, invited me and my girlfriend over to Foxcatcher for a Christmas party. I was assured that DuPont would not be there, so I accepted the invitation.



#15 stout

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:21 AM

The relatively few postings in this entry are evidence of the passage
of time. In the past, this topic would have resulted in many more
entries than are here now. I have enjoyed reading posts about Dave
from Brother Morris and others.

Stung by the small number of posts, I was motivated to add my own,
though my direct knowledge of Dave is small. With that in mind, I'll
share under three categories: what I saw in person, what I was told,
and what I saw watching Dave on video.

1. Things I saw in person.

I didn't know Dave personally, but I grew up in Northern California
also and entered a few spring freestyle tournaments he was at. He
already had a reputation then and people would ring the mats when he
wrestled. These were small-time events and in order to get a lot of
matches Dave would enter two or three weight classes: his natural
weight and those higher up.

Dave would start these matches with something like both shoes untied
and a strap on his singlet down. After each period, he would tie a shoe
or pull a strap up. By the third period, he would finally have both
shoes tied and both straps up. He would get serious at that point and
quickly pin his opponent.

At one of these tournaments, I saw Dave wrestle Bruce Kopitar. Dave
was still in high school and Bruce had just won the state championship.
He was bigger than Dave and very muscular. Dave's body toned up over
time, but anyone who saw him in those days would know that his emphasis
was on technique, not conditioning or strength.

Before I knew who he would be wrestling, I saw Bruce huddled with his
coach, looking very concerned. Occasionally, he or his coach would
gesture to the other side of the mat and looking over I saw Dave. No
one who was just comparing body types would have understood Bruce's
concern or even fear, but Bruce knew what was coming. Once the match
started, Dave peeled off multiple grand amplitude throws, Bruce's feet
flying over his head. And my recollection is it was a freestyle match.

2. Things I was told.

I believe it was in an interview that I read Dave used to attend
practice at his high school (Palo Alto high), then walk across the
street to Stanford and attend their practice, and then drive to a
local Junior college (Skyline) that held evening practices and
workout there.

As an older guy with kids, I wish more kids were told about things
like this. Not everyone will choose to make the trade-offs Dave did,
but I think it would be helpful for kids to learn that when they
see phenomenal results - like Dave's - they should expect to find
a phenomenal amount of work - like Dave's - behind it.

Another highlight for Dave around that time, discussed in multiple
articles and postings, is that as a high school senior, at a
freestyle tournament, he wrestled an Iowa university senior who had
just won the Div I nationals and been voted outstanding wrestler,
and pinned him.

3. Things I saw in videos.

I think it is down now, but formerly the Dave Schultz wrestling club
had a web site you could order videos from. There was a set of three
that were recommended as Dave's best technique videos and I ordered
those. They included matches from one of the times Dave won the
national freestyle tournament by pinning everyone in his weight
class and various world level competitions.

Dave had evolved his style at that point into something that resembled
wrestling-jujitsu. He rarely worked force-to-force, but used moves
that gave him tremendous leverage. For instance, whereas I was taught
to work an arm bar high, up near the shoulder joint, Dave would work
it from near the elbow joint.

In one of the videos, Dave has someone on their back with a double arm
bar and his opponent swings their legs down, to bounce off their back,
but Dave kept both of the guy's elbows pinned to the mat. There must
have been a tremendous amount of torque on the guy's shoulders. As
soon as his feet touched the mat from his downward swing, he actually
jumped back to his own back, to relieve the pressure.

Another thing notable, especially in the freestyle nationals videos, is
how quickly Dave moved from a takedown into a turn. At about the time
most people are thinking "whew, I got the takedown", he was turning the
guy over. Consequently, at about the time most people would be thinking
"shoot, I got taken down", those wrestling Dave would be fighting off
their back.

I'll close with my wife's recollection of Dave. We were just dating at
the time we drove to attend a wrestling friend's wedding. While hanging
out with the groom before the ceremony, wrestling videos were on and my
wife - who hadn't watched any serious wrestling before then - remembers
seeing a guy with a doughy body and a big smile on his face just
dishing out punishment time after time to his opponents.

RIP Dave!

#16 sse01

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:48 AM

The relatively few postings in this entry are evidence of the passage
of time. In the past, this topic would have resulted in many more
entries than are here now. I have enjoyed reading posts about Dave
from Brother Morris and others.

Stung by the small number of posts, I was motivated to add my own,
though my direct knowledge of Dave is small. With that in mind, I'll
share under three categories: what I saw in person, what I was told,
and what I saw watching Dave on video.

1. Things I saw in person.

I didn't know Dave personally, but I grew up in Northern California
also and entered a few spring freestyle tournaments he was at. He
already had a reputation then and people would ring the mats when he
wrestled. These were small-time events and in order to get a lot of
matches Dave would enter two or three weight classes: his natural
weight and those higher up.

Dave would start these matches with something like both shoes untied
and a strap on his singlet down. After each period, he would tie a shoe
or pull a strap up. By the third period, he would finally have both
shoes tied and both straps up. He would get serious at that point and
quickly pin his opponent.

At one of these tournaments, I saw Dave wrestle Bruce Kopitar. Dave
was still in high school and Bruce had just won the state championship.
He was bigger than Dave and very muscular. Dave's body toned up over
time, but anyone who saw him in those days would know that his emphasis
was on technique, not conditioning or strength.

Before I knew who he would be wrestling, I saw Bruce huddled with his
coach, looking very concerned. Occasionally, he or his coach would
gesture to the other side of the mat and looking over I saw Dave. No
one who was just comparing body types would have understood Bruce's
concern or even fear, but Bruce knew what was coming. Once the match
started, Dave peeled off multiple grand amplitude throws, Bruce's feet
flying over his head. And my recollection is it was a freestyle match.

2. Things I was told.

I believe it was in an interview that I read Dave used to attend
practice at his high school (Palo Alto high), then walk across the
street to Stanford and attend their practice, and then drive to a
local Junior college (Skyline) that held evening practices and
workout there.

As an older guy with kids, I wish more kids were told about things
like this. Not everyone will choose to make the trade-offs Dave did,
but I think it would be helpful for kids to learn that when they
see phenomenal results - like Dave's - they should expect to find
a phenomenal amount of work - like Dave's - behind it.

Another highlight for Dave around that time, discussed in multiple
articles and postings, is that as a high school senior, at a
freestyle tournament, he wrestled an Iowa university senior who had
just won the Div I nationals and been voted outstanding wrestler,
and pinned him.

3. Things I saw in videos.

I think it is down now, but formerly the Dave Schultz wrestling club
had a web site you could order videos from. There was a set of three
that were recommended as Dave's best technique videos and I ordered
those. They included matches from one of the times Dave won the
national freestyle tournament by pinning everyone in his weight
class and various world level competitions.

Dave had evolved his style at that point into something that resembled
wrestling-jujitsu. He rarely worked force-to-force, but used moves
that gave him tremendous leverage. For instance, whereas I was taught
to work an arm bar high, up near the shoulder joint, Dave would work
it from near the elbow joint.

In one of the videos, Dave has someone on their back with a double arm
bar and his opponent swings their legs down, to bounce off their back,
but Dave kept both of the guy's elbows pinned to the mat. There must
have been a tremendous amount of torque on the guy's shoulders. As
soon as his feet touched the mat from his downward swing, he actually
jumped back to his own back, to relieve the pressure.

Another thing notable, especially in the freestyle nationals videos, is
how quickly Dave moved from a takedown into a turn. At about the time
most people are thinking "whew, I got the takedown", he was turning the
guy over. Consequently, at about the time most people would be thinking
"shoot, I got taken down", those wrestling Dave would be fighting off
their back.

I'll close with my wife's recollection of Dave. We were just dating at
the time we drove to attend a wrestling friend's wedding. While hanging
out with the groom before the ceremony, wrestling videos were on and my
wife - who hadn't watched any serious wrestling before then - remembers
seeing a guy with a doughy body and a big smile on his face just
dishing out punishment time after time to his opponents.

RIP Dave!



Very cool, thanks for sharing!

#17 ideamark

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 01:56 AM

Hard to believe it was fifteen years ago today...

http://www.examiner.... ... hn-du-pont

#18 fadzaev2

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 01:32 AM

First, I don't get on the International forum too often, but I got on here this morning because I knew Brent Metcalf was wrestling in the Yarigan Tournament today....evidently God wanted me on here today so I would see the tribute Gary Abbott put on here for Dave Schultz (as the tears cloud my eyes pretty badly).

I learned a ton from Dave Schultz....mostly from clinics and tapes....I can pretty much remember where I learned everything I know about our great sport, and I probably learned more from Dave than any single person....a couple of his tapes are among my favorites to this day. He was definitely a master of our sport.

Favorite memories of Dave...some of his little phrases while he taught....."Darned if you do and darned if you don't", "On the other side of the coin", "That sounds right....that sounds real right"...can't think of them all right now.

How about his creativity.....the time he beat Kenny Monday in a match at the Olympic Sports Festival (if I remember right)......Dave was in on a high crotch, Kenny was in a crotch lift position, but Dave did a shoulder roll, in pretty much the same direction Kenny would have taken the crotch lift, and with much discussion Dave was given the points because he initiated the move and exposed Kenny's shoulders to the mat :O).

Then there was the time, he was coaching the World Cup team (1989) in Toledo, Ohio, and he let me take John Smith walleye fishing on Lake Erie on a cold March day (John caught a 6 pounder that day).

Another favorite story I have of Dave relates to Sean Bormet....Sean was getting ready to wrestle Pat Smith in the NCAA finals in 1994, and we were watching films of his match with Pat in the NWCA All-Star match....I told Sean I would do a changeover to take away Smith's spiral ride, but we hadn't worked on a changeover. Sean had mentioned that Dave wanted to talk to Sean, and I said you should listen to him, that it would be like having another coach in his corner. I wasn't on the floor for the match.....Sean didn't take down, lost a close match 5-3 I believe, and much later Sean and I were together at the hotel, and he said...."Coach B....couldn't wait to tell you this....remember Scultz wanted to talk to me, and I said "yes".....I asked him about the spiral ride, and Schultz said....if I were you I'd do a changeover :O)"

My last "Schultz story", goes back to '96, and I'm coaching 3 Michigan wrestlers in the Michigan International Open"....Sean Bormet, John Fisher and Kirk Trost....at the end of the first day Zeke Jones is wrestling a match, but you don't really realize what's going on....Zeke wins.....(remember the finals are the next day) they award him his gold medal.....he walks over to my son who is just maybe 10 years old, and has been begging to go home, saying "Dad, I'm tired", and hands my son, Bryce, his gold medal, saying "Son would you like to have this".....it's in a prominent place in my son's medal showcase, but the reason Zeke even had his match a day early was that he was leaving for Philadelphia, for Dave's Memorial Service.

I have an audio cassette somewhere that says you have maybe 5 signifigant emotional events in your life, where you can remember exactly where you were when something happened.....I can think of 6 for me.....when my parents passed, when my 6 year old niece died of leukemia, the day John Kennedy was shot....I was in my 9th grade English class, 9/11....I was in my truck on my way to the bank, during my planning period at school, and when I saw on the news that Dave had been murdered....January 26, 1996.

Thanks Gary Abbott for helping us to remember this.....we love you Dave, Nancy and family.

Edd Bankowski

P.S. Ironically, as I proof-read this, I think Yarigan was murdered too.....another one of the greatest coaches of all-time in our sport!

#19 MadMardigain

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 01:56 PM

P.S. Ironically, as I proof-read this, I think Yarigan was murdered too.....another one of the greatest coaches of all-time in our sport!


Ed he actually died in a car accident. But, yes another talent leaving this world to early.

#20 BigApple

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:50 PM

I first met Dave when he was on his visit to OU when he was a senior in HS. I got to know him fairly well when he competed each year at the Sunkist International tournament in Phoenix.

He could be the absent minded professor at times. We were walking into the Senior Nationals in Las Vegas, he'd forgotten his competitor's pass, I vouched for him that he was indeed a competitor in the tournament.

He considered applying for the ASU position when bobby Douglas left to go to Iowa State, but was concerned about all of the NCAA regulations he'd have to deal with, and he didn't apply.

The last conversation I had with him was at the Sunkist Tournament the fall before he was murdered. I asked him when he was going to do a technique video since he probably knew more than anyone, especially in freestyle. He said yeah, I'm starting to forget I know things. I'll see someone do a move and say I used to do that. then he said if I do one I'd want some of this guys stuff on it, because its pretty good/ He then introduced me to Valentin Jordanov.

He always had time to visit, excdpt right before matches. I still miss him, and think what OU would have been like had he agreed to become the head coach there when Stan Abel retired.

Definitely one of the nicest persons off the mat anyone could ever know.




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