He has been called the “most versatile wrestler anywhere ever” since his collegiate days at Oregon, but he was a pretty amazing athlete for the Ducks as a twosport standout. Although he started two seasons at defensive tackle for the 1974-75 Ducks and dreamed of being a professional football player, life led him to wrestling.
He may have been too small for a down NFL lineman, but his physical stature was perfect as a heavyweight. He won the 1975 Pacific-8 Conference title, carrying Oregon to its first-ever team crown, and finished second in successive NCAA Championships. He blossomed in the U.S. Marine Corps and was named the sport’s athlete of the year in 1981 and made the Olympic Greco-Roman team in 1984. He was
the first athlete to ever capture national titles in all three forms of wrestling.