Legend. Teacher. Friend.
Dave possessed an innate ability to listen, to connect, and to make people feel understood. Throughout his short life, Dave applied his unique interpersonal skills to further his impassioned agenda — making the United States Wrestling Team the best team in the world. Part elementary school teacher part Russian gangster, Dave used his relationships within the international wrestling community to create a free exchange of knowledge between Eastern Europe and U.S. Athletes; something that had never been successfully achieved before, or since. From 1988 to 1996, with Dave Schultz acting as athlete, coach, and all-around spiritual leader, the U.S. Wrestling Team steadily rose through the world ranks until ultimately capturing a first World Title in 1993, and then another at the 1995 World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Bruce Burnett, U.S. National Team Coach, and beloved friend reads a letter written by Dave the night after the U.S. won the Championship.
Dave was a true champion in every sense of the word. Dave’s death proved catastrophic to everyone whose life he had touched both on and off the mat. Dave has been posthumously honored in almost every way possible and today we especially honor Dave on his 60th birthday.