California Olympic Wrestlers

Jake Varner

Jake Varner – 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist

• 2014 World Team Member
• 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist
• Four-time NCAA All-American (4X Finalist 2007-10)
• 2-Time NCAA Division I Champion (Junior and Senior Year)
• 2-Time California State Wrestling Champion for Bakersfield HS
• 2011 Pan American Games, gold
• 2011 World Championships, bronze
• Two-time U.S. Open champion (2009, 2011)
• 2009 World Championships, 9th

Dave Schultz

Dave Schultz – 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist

• 1982 NCAA Division I Champion, 167 lb class
• 1983 Senior Freestyle world champion, 163 lb
• 1984 Olympic gold medalist, 163.1 lb
• 1986 Goodwill Games gold medalist
• 1994 Goodwill Games silver medalist
• Seven-time USA Senior Freestyle champion (1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995; all except 1988 (180.5 lb) at 163 lb)
• Five-time World Cup champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1994, 1995)
• Two-time Pan American Games champion (1977 (Greco-Roman), 1987(Freestyle))
• Three-time AAU National Champion (1977 GR, 1981 FS, 1982 GR)
• Three-time NCAA Division I all-American (1978, 1981, 1982)
• Two-Time Tbilisi Champion (1984, 1991)
• Two-time Olympic Festival Champion (1985, 1987)
• Two-time Sunkist International Champion (1989, 1990)
• Three-time DeGlane Challenge Champion (1983, 1990, 1991)
• Three-time World silver medalist, 163 lb (1985, 1987, 1993)
• Two-time World Bronze medalist (1982, 1986)

Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz – 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist

• 1984 Olympic Champion
• 1985, 87 World Champion
• 1981, 82, 83 NCAA Champion
• 1984, 85, 86, 87 National Open Freestyle Champion
• 1987 Pan American Games Champion
• 1982 World Cup Champion
• 1983, 85, 87 National Sports Festival Champion
• 1978 California High School State Champion
• 1976 Northern California Age (14-15) Gymnastic Champion
• 1982 Unanimously voted “Outstanding Wrestler” at the NCAA Championship
• 1987 USA Wrestling Athlete of the Year
• 1987 Sullivan Award Nominee
• 1987 Olympic Magazine Sportsman of the Year
• 1985 Wrestling Masters Magazine “International Wrestler of the Year”
• 1983 Captain of the University of Oklahoma wrestling team
• 1983 Set the University of Oklahoma record for most victories in a single season without a loss
• 1995 Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
• 1996 Fought and won Ultimate Fighting Championships IX. Never competed again. Retired with a 1-0-0 MMA record.
• 2000 Inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.
• 2010 Inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame with his brother Dave Schultz.

Greg Gibson

Greg Gibson – 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist

Greg Gibson was born in Redding, CA in 1953, and graduated from Shasta H.S. He then attended Shasta College for 2 years before transferring to the University of Oregon. He was the runner-up his junior and senior years (1975 and 76) at the NCAA Div I Wrestling Championships. In 1978, Greg enlisted in the Marine Corps, and served 25 years before retiring in 2003. He wrestled for the Marines up until 2001.

Some of his better accomplishments are: In 1984, he won the Olympic Silver Medal in Greco Roman (Heavyweight Class). At the World Freestyle Wrestling Championships, Greg won the Silver Medal in 1981, the Bronze Medal in 1982, and the Silver Medal in 1983. He also captured the Gold Medal at the 1982 Sombo World Cup Tournament, making him the first wrestler to win a World medal in all three disciplines.

Stephen Abas

Stephen Abas – 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist

• 3X California high school state Champion
• 3X NCAA Division I National Champion
• 4X NCAA Division I All-American
• Olympic Silver medalist

Jamil Kelly

Jamil Kelly – 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist

Though he never won a state high school tournament or a national title in college, Kelly did win the 2004 USA Nationals and the US Olympic trials at 66 kg (145.5 lbs) to represent the US in Athens. After winning both pool matches 3-0, he defeated eventual bronze medalist Makhach Murtazaliev of Russia in the semifinal, 3-1. In the Gold Medal match, Kelly faced Ukrainian Elbrus Tedeyev. Tedeyev would win the gold 3-1 leaving Kelly with the silver.

Adam Wheeler

Adam Wheeler – 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist

• 2008 USA Olympic Team Member
• 8x USA Wrestling All-American
• 2005/2006 National Team Member
• 2006 Pan American Silver Medalist
• 2004 University World Team Member
• 2004/2008 World Cup Team Member
• 3x Armed Forces Medalist
• 5x All Navy Team Member

Eric Guerrero

Eric Guererro – 2006 Olympic Team Member

A decorated wrestler himself, Guerrero won NCAA individual championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999 at the age of 19, 20 and 21, respectively, and he represented the United States at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Guerrero was a four-time All-America in college, a four-time U.S. Open national champion and was named Outstanding Wrestler at the 2002 U.S. Open. Additionally, Guerrero was a two-time USA FILA junior world freestyle champion and won the 1995 USA junior freestyle championship.

As an international competitor, Guerrero made his first USA world team while he was still just a junior in college. He earned his first berth in the World Championships following his college career in 1999. Guerrero won four U.S. Open titles from 2001 to 2004, won a World Cup Championship in 2003, was a member of the U.S. World Team five consecutive years and helped the Gator Wrestling Club win three national team titles.

John Azevedo

John Azevedo – 1980 Olympic Team Member

John Azevedo was one of the best wrestlers the United States has produced in the last 20 years. Growing up in Modesto, he was a two-time high school state champion at 106 and 115 pounds. After a short, unhappy stint at Oklahoma State, he transferred to Cal State Bakersfield, where he was an NCAA champion at 126 pounds.

Azevedo made the 1980 U.S. Olympic team (which missed the Moscow Games because of the boycott), and was ranked as high as fourth in the world in freestyle wrestling. After an injury ended his hopes of making the 1984 Olympic team, Azevedo turned his attention to coaching. He spent eight years as an assistant at Arizona State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Bakersfield. Azevedo then was head Coach at Calvary Chapel High School and then switched to college to become a Head Coach at Cal Poly.

Tim Vanni

Tim Vanni – 1988 & 1992 Olympic Team Member

Born and raised in Porterville, he was an outstanding wrestler at Monache High, compiling a 98-12 record at 98 pounds. Won state championships as a junior and senior. Was a four-year letterman at CBUB where he developed skills that led them to excellence in the freestyle at the international level. As a Bakersfield resident from 1979-87, he competed internationally at 48kios (105.5 pounds).

Placed 5th in the 1987 and 1989 world championships 6th in 1982 and 1986 and 10th in 1985 and 1994.

After being an alternate on the U.S. Olympic team in 1984, he placed 4th in the Seoul Games in 1988 and 5th in the Barcelona Games in 1992. He was a U.S. freestyle national champion in 1985, ’87, ’88, and ’91. In five freestyle World Cup tournaments he was 2nd, 3rd (twice), 4th and 5th. In Greco-Roman style he achieved equal success. Has been wrestling coach at Porterville High School for the past ten years.

Patricia Miranda

Patricia Miranda – 2006 Olympic Bronze Medalist

Patricia Miranda was born in 1979 in Manteca, CA, and began her wrestling career at age eleven by becoming the first female to wrestle at Redwood Middle School and Saratoga High School in Saratoga, CA. She continued wrestling at Stanford University and eventually earned a spot on the all-male NCAA Division I roster as a 125-pound starter. During her senior year, Miranda became only the second woman in NCAA history to beat a male opponent in competition.

In female competition, Miranda has had strong success by winning two Silver Medals (in 2000 and 2003) and a Bronze Medal (in 2006) at the Women’s World Freestyle Wrestling Championships. She also claimed a Bronze Medal in the Women’s Flyweight category (48-kg; 105.6 lbs) at the 2004 Olympics in Athens (the first Olympic Games featuring Women’s Freestyle Wrestling). This accomplishment earned her the historical distinction as the first American woman to win an Olympic Medal in women’s wrestling.

Marcie Van Dusen

Marcie Van Dusen – 2008 Olympic Team Member

Marcie Van Dusen was born in 1982 in Lake Arrowhead, CA, and was a member of the mixed varsity wrestling team at Rim of the World High School in Lake Arrowhead. In 2002, she moved from California to Colorado Springs, CO to work and train as a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. She made her international debut at the 2006 Women’s World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in China, where she placed tenth in the women’s 55-kg category (121 lbs). At the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil, she won the Silver Medal at 55-Kg.

Van Dusen competed at the 2008 Olympic Games and finished ninth at 55-Kg. Following the Olympics, Van Dusen retired from her sporting career, and worked as a program coordinator and coach for Beat The Streets (Los Angeles) Wrestling Program. She also became the first female head coach on the collegiate level, when she served her two-year role as the women’s coach at Menlo College in Atherton, CA.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top