Shaped on the sun-beaten shores of California, Stephen Abas dedicated himself to wrestling at a young age, carefully refining his form to pursue his dreams. His electrifying style captured the the hearts of the wrestling public and his competitive superiority forever etched his names among the all time greats in our sport.
Dynamic and dangerous, Abas would storm the national intercollegiate stage at Fresno State by claiming three NCAA Titles and amassing a staggering 144-4 record at 125 lbs. This legendary run garnered his place on the NCAA 75th Anniversary Team, an all-star roster composed of the best collegiate wrestlers of all time.
Abas would continue on from Fresno State to compete internationally, culminating with his silver medal performance at the 2004 Athens Games. A recent inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Stephen Abas carries on his Way of Life where his roots began, teaching and shaping the wrestling minds in “The Valley” of California.
A true athlete in every sense of the word, Stephen Neal came to wrestling as a freshman at San Diego High School, competing in many other sports, including football. His early career culminated in a fourth place finish at the formidable California State Wrestling Tournament.
Attending Cal State University, Bakersfield, Neal would establish himself and develop as a heavyweight dynamo, storming the 1998 NCAA tournament with a 20-5 technical fall. Unstoppable, he would further cement his collegiate legacy as he seized a second NCAA title. Neal continued his stride into his international career with gold medal victories at the subsequent U.S. Open, Pan American Games, and World Championships.
A titan among men, Stephen Neal received the FILA outstanding wrestler award in 1999, bestowed upon the best wrestler in the world. After hanging up his wrestling shoes, Neal returned to his football roots as he played under legendary Coach Bill Belichick during a dominant New England Patriot era. During his tenure on the Patriot offensive line, Neal collected 3 Super Bowl Rings. Stephen Neal’s impressive legacy exhibits his love for sport and an unrivaled Way of Life.
Forged in the heat of the Texas panhandle, Brandon Slay was known to be a fierce competitor. His early career included 3 state titles in high school, 2 Cadet world medals, and becoming a 2X NCAA Finalist for the University of Pennsylvania.
Qualifying for the 2000 Sydney Games, Slay was pitted against reigning champion and international powerhouse Buvaisar Saitiev of Russia. Against all odds, Slay seized a takedown opportunity in overtime, ultimately propelling him to the finals and an gold medal.
As the executive director and head coach of the Pennsylvania Regional Training Center, Brandon Slay continues to make waves in the wrestling community, helping others to find their own success on the mat. For Brandon, wrestling is A Way of Life.
Rising from the unforgiving badlands of South Dakota, Lincoln McIlravy has dominated the wrestling world with a resiliency worn by very few.
McIlravy’s reign spanned 5 state titles in high school and 3 national titles at the University of Iowa. Perhaps the most defining moment of his collegiate career was an improbable comeback victory to become just the second true freshman in wrestling history to win a national title, a testament to his inimitable resolve.
McIlravy achieved storied international success, winning multiple World Cup gold medals, attaining 2 consecutive medals at the World Wrestling Championships, and topping his athletic career with a bronze medal performance at the 2000 Sydney Games.
An inductee of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Lincoln McIlravy has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. His hardened fortitude represents the spirit of American Wrestling and truly is A Way of Life.
A product of Oklahoma culture, Kenny Monday represents the authenticity of the American Wrestler. Monday’s ethos set him apart as a competitor and coach in the National Wrestling Community.
Monday set a standard of success in the state of Oklahoma. A National Champion at Oklahoma State University, Monday had 3 Olympic appearances, highlighted with a gold medal in 1988 and a World Gold Medal in 1989. In addition to Monday’s international success, he made elite wrestling history as he became the first African-American wrestling gold medalist.
Kenny Monday continues to impact the sport daily as a National Wrestling Hall of Fame member and head coach of UNC’s Tar Heel Wrestling Club. Monday’s ambition, desire, and passion for the sport and culture of wrestling reflect the founding elements of RUDIS. For Kenny Monday, Wrestling is A WAY OF LIFE.
Born and bred in Stoughton, Wisconsin, Russ Hellickson embodies the ethos of American Wrestling. An 11x U.S. National Champion, Hellickson was a 3x World and Olympic medalist, highlighted by his silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Games. He also made the 1980 U.S. team and was named captain.
Perhaps Hellickson’s greatest wrestling accomplishment, however, was winning the world renowned Tbilisi Tournament. At the time, he was just the 4th, paving a path for all American wrestling legends to follow. Most scholarly wrestling enthusiasts throughout the world believe the Tbilisi Tournament to have been significantly more competitive and difficult to win than any other competition.
After Hellickson’s athletic career, he spent 30+ years as a highly successful collegiate wrestling coach at the University of Wisconsin, as well as The Ohio State University. As an esteemed National Wrestling Hall of fame inductee, Hellickson has made wrestling his life’s work.
RUDIS is proud to honor and pay homage to a legend of the sport. For Russ Hellickson, wrestling is a way of life.
Cary Kolat, the original prodigy, was born and raised in America’s wrestling heartland: Pennsylvania. No wrestler has ever gone through the youth ranks with a more nostalgic aura than Cary Kolat. Born for the sport, Cary went on to have a very successful collegiate and international career, capped by his 2 NCAA titles, World bronze medal, and participation in the 2000 Sydney Games.
To this day, his legend is known nationwide. His lifelong passion for the sport wrestling and ambition to reach his full potential is aligned with the founding elements of the Rudis brand. We are proud to present this limited-time offer to celebrate one of the most iconic and polarizing wrestlers the United States has ever known.
A competitor from a young age, Ben Askren silenced the doubt throughout his career. A product of Wisconsin wrestling, Askren was a two-time Wisconsin state champion. Askren dominated his collegiate competition becoming a four time National finalist, and two time National Champion at the University of Missouri. Ben took to the international stage representing our country at the 2008 Beijing games.
Following his international career, Askren began his professional MMA career, as well as, Askren Wrestling Academy in his home state of Wisconsin. A true man of the sport, Ben’s impact is felt daily as a coach.
Ben’s passion and drive to not only grow the sport, but simultaneously influence those within the community deeply align with the core values at RUDIS.
Born from the arbors of Oregon, Les Gutches personifies the American Wrestler. A champion at every age level, Les defeated the legendary Kevin Jackson to make the 1996 U.S. Team while in college. Les capped an amazing career by winning Gold at the 1997 World Championships in Mother Russia; running the gauntlet, including a heated battle with long time nemesis & Caribbean foe Yoel Romero of Cuba.
Les Gutches. American Legend
Raised in North Dakota, Troy and Terry Steiner exemplify the values of the American Heartland. Driven to outwork the competition, the Steiner twins became known for their relentless pursuit of excellence and clean lifestyle. Five state titles later, the brothers were a natural fit for Gable’s Hawkeyes. From Bismarck to Iowa City, they brought their legendary work ethic and the results followed. The twins terrorized opponents as they led the charge for Gables’ Hawks during the golden era of Iowa dominance. Following a collegiate career featuring NCAA titles for both and seven All-American awards, the twins enjoyed successful careers on the senior level cementing their status as Hall of Fame competitors.
Today the brothers continue to lead the charge on the forefront of growing our great sport. Troy has been chosen to revitalize NCAA wrestling in the hot bed of California, as head coach of the storied Fresno State Bulldogs as they make their return to competition. Terry is our longest tenured coach on the USA wrestling staff, leading a strong women’s team that has developed into a perennial world power. Raised in Bismarck, North Dakota, for Troy and Terry Steiner it has always been…… A WAY OF LIFE.
Molded in Montana. Refined in Iowa. Perfected in Colorado. Bill Zadick is an American wrestling icon. A long time student of the sport, Bill’s insatiable desire for success drove him to new heights. As a competitor, Zadick excelled at every level throughout his career. Wrestling for Coach Gable’s Hawkeyes, his collegiate career was highlighted with two NCAA All-American honors. Internationally, Zadick continued to train and refine his skills to make a National Team–culminating in a 2006 Freestyle World Championship.
Bill continues to leave his thumbprint in the landscape of the wrestling community as the newly appointed National Freestyle Coach. Bill’s drive, desire, authenticity, and love for the sport reflect the founding elements of RUDIS. Wrestling is etched into his core DNA, existing long before a World Title. It’s the essence of his being. It’s his “Way of Life.”