Mark Philip Schultz (born October 26, 1960) is an American Olympic and 2-time World champion freestyle wrestler and a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the San Mateo Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was promoted to the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Master Pedro Sauer on January 23, 2016.
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 American brother combination in history.
Mark Schultz was born in 1960 in Palo Alto, California to Dorothy Jean St. Germain (née Rich) 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 Ukrainian Jewish and half British descent. His paternal grandparents were Estelle (Bernstein), the daughter of a prominent paper company executive, and Maxwell L. Schultz, a business consultant. The boys attended local schools. Schultz got interested in gymnastics and started competing.
High school career
Mark Schultz attended Palo Alto High, where he was coached by Ed Hart. 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. As a senior he did not win any tournaments until the state qualifiers where Schultz won the league, region, section, and the state. He and Colt Doyle (Poway High School) are the only California State Wrestling Champions never to win a regular season tournament.
Schultz attended 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 Schultz moved up to 177 lbs where he faced two-time NCAA Champion (1980, 1981) Ed Banach and former NCAA Champion (at 167 lbs in 1980) Matt Reiss. 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" and was named Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament. 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 was also named University of Oklahoma's "Big 8" medallion winner for outstanding senior male student-athlete.
Olympics and World championships
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."
At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, he finished in 6th place. This was while he was wrestling for Team Foxcatcher and the infamous John du Pont, who would later murder Mark's brother Dave.
Coaching and mixed martial arts
After eight years in retirement from wrestling competition, Schultz became the first Olympic gold medalist to enter the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). 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. Schultz was paid $50,000 for his victory. Schultz is ranked by one commentator as the greatest wrestler in UFC history. He suffered damage to his back in the fight. At the time, he was a coach of wrestling at Brigham Young University.
Coaching and competition
Schultz was the assistant wrestling coach at Brigham Young University from 1991 to 1994 when he was named head coach. In 1993, Schultz had a widely publicized submission grappling match with Rickson Gracie, a protagonist of a martial art known as Gracie Jiu - Jitsu which came to America from Brazil. Rickson is one of the greatest all-time "No-Holds-Barred" rules fighters and could be considered the greatest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner ever. At the time, only two non-Gracie family members were Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belts. One was 8th degree black belt Pedro Sauer. Mark fought in UFC IX with Professor Sauer in his corner. Pedro, a 150 lb martial arts master had a widely publicized "No-Holds-Barred" rules fight with Mr. Utah Lance Bachelor a 250 lb bodybuilder. On January 23, 2016, Mark earned a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Professor Sauer. In 2000, BYU dropped wrestling and men's gymnastics due to Title IX issues.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In "The Golden Era of Amateur Wrestling: 1980's" by Reginald Rowe, Mark 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.
- 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.
Mixed martial arts record
|Win||1-0||Gary Goodridge||TKO (cut)||UFC 9||000000001996-05-17-0000May 17, 1996||1||12:00||Detroit, Michigan, United States||Mark was entered in as a late replacement for another fighter.|