Twenty years ago the wrestling world got the news that Dave Schultz had been murdered by the man who was thought to be his biggest supporter. The story is well known at this point.
I unfortunately never got to know Dave. I got to shake his hand a couple times at national tournaments. I was always in awe of my heroes and when I recently moved I found a signed poster by Dave, a signed poster by Kevin Jackson, a signed shirt by Kendall Cross, and a phone number by Tricia Saunders so my sister had someone to contact to make sure she got to the national team camp.
What sticks with me the most is how guys talk about Dave. It's not the usual "he was a great guy" stuff. Michigan's Joe McFarland referred to him as their "Player/Coach". You could always go to Dave with any concern and he would help. He was always trying to make sure everyone was going to be as close to 100% as possible. On the Wrestling Resource Podcast this week, Terry Brands discussed his relationship with Dave as more of the same.
Another thing that doesn't get pointed out is that when he was murdered he was our World Team member the previous seasons. In 1996, 12 years after winning an Olympic Gold Medal, the man was an Olympic medal contender. That's simply incredible. We won't have anyone at the 2016 Olympic Trials competing from the 2004 Olympic team.
I feel for the family and all the friends who still miss Dave to this day. You can hear it in their voices and see it in their body language when they talk about him. He was paramount to the improvement of United States Freestyle results throughout the 1980's and 1990's. You'll be forever missed, Dave.