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286 Bruce Baumgartner vs. Tom Erickson(1992 Olympic Trials)
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Bruce Baumgartner is considered to be one of, if not the greatest American wrestler.
Bruce grew up in Haledon, New Jersey, where he was the younger of two boys. He and his brother were raised in a pretty strict household where his father worked as an automobile mechanic. As a child he was content watching his older brother wrestle. It wasn?t until his freshman year in high school did Bruce actually begin to participate actively in wrestling.
Bruce developed quickly and by his senior year in high school was contending for a state title. He never achieved the feat, but later that year won the junior national title. After High School Bruce went off to Indiana State to wrestle. At Indiana State Bruce Baumgartner wrestled without red shirting and his first year didn?t make the NCAA tournament. He made a gigantic leap between his freshman and sophomore year where he went from not attending the NCAAs to making it to the finals. In his junior year he again went back to the finals only to lose again. It wasn?t until his senior year did Bruce Baumgartner finally win the NCAA national championship.
For many this would have been a career for Bruce Baumgartner it was barely a start. When he was in college Bruce won his first freestyle national championship. He would win a total of 17 straight freestyle national titles! In 1984 Bruce Baumgartner won the Olympics in LA, took the silver in ?88 Seoul, won the gold in ?92 Barcelona, and won the Bronze in 96 Atlanta. He also won three world freestyle championships in 86, 93 and 95. All in all he was a 5x World Champion!
Bruce had his pick of most any schools where he could coach but decided to coach at a small Division II school in upper Pennsylvania called Edinboro. Here he helped guide the wrestling program through a transition from a Division II to a Division I program. As a coach he built the program to become a top ten team in the nation. Today Bruce Baumgartner stands as the Director of Athletics at Edinboro University.
Indiana State University
3X Olympic Champion, 17x Freestyle National Champion, 5X World Champion