Stanford Wrestling Head Coach Chris Horpel


Head Coach Chris Horpel

----- Chris Horpel's Highlights -----

Former Stanford All-American Chris Horpel (pronounced hor-PELL) is now entering his 20th season as the Cardinal head wrestling coach. In that time, he has produced five NCAA Division I All-Americans, seven Pacific-10 Conference champions, and has qualified wrestlers to the NCAAs every year.

While a student at Stanford, Horpel was an All-American who twice placed in the top eight in the NCAA championships (fifth as a junior, seventh as a senior). In addition, Horpel won the 1975 Pacific-8 Conference title at 150 pounds and later represented the United States in Montreal at the Pre-Olympic World Tournament, placing fifth. The following year, Horpel again went to Montreal as the first alternate on the 1976 United States Olympic team.

Known as a pinner, Horpel still holds the Stanford career (56) and season (18) pin records. Also a pinner in high school, he recorded an undefeated season as a senior at Newport Harbor High School in Southern California and set the national high school pin record by pinning 34 of 36 opponents.

Horpel began his coaching career as the assistant coach at Stanford (1975-76) while training for the Olympic team. After the Montreal Olympiad, he was assistant coach at Palo Alto High School (1976-77), head coach at Gunn High School (1977-78), and assistant coach at UCLA (1978-79). In 1979-80 Horpel returned to Stanford where he has coached ever since.

Horpel studied Art and Architecture at Stanford. After graduating, he attended graduate school at San Jose State and later taught drafting and photography at Palo Alto and Gunn High Schools. As a high school coach he produced two California state champions: Dave and Mark Schultz. Both Schultzes went on to win NCAA, World and Olympic titles.

In his 18 years on the Farm, Coach Horpel has achieved three impressive goals:
1) made Stanford competitive on a national level,
2) enabled Stanford wrestling to be financially self-supporting,
3) made Stanford the top academic wrestling program in the country.

In addition to his collegiate coaching duties, Horpel is a member of USA Wrestling*s National Coaching Staff, having coached nine international teams in freestyle and Greco-Roman.

His first duty as a member of the National Coach Staff was in 1975 as the assistant for an undefeated Junior World Greco-Roman tour through West Germany. His second (1978) was as the head man for a Junior World freestyle and Greco-Roman team that traveled to Teheran, Iran. In 1979, he was assistant coach for the U.S. Greco-Roman team that competed in the Junior World Championships in Haparanda, Sweden.

In the summer of 1988, Horpel was assistant coach for the Espoir team that competed in the World Cup in freestyle in St. John*s, Newfoundland, Canada. That Espoir team included 1996 Olympic champions Kendall Cross (125.5) and Kurt Angle (220).

In the summer of 1990, Horpel was assistant coach for the Pan American freestyle team that won eight gold medals in Colorado Springs, CO. The following summer, in 1991, Horpel coached the *West* Greco-Roman team during the U.S. Olympic Sports Festival in Los Angeles.

In the summer of 1993, Horpel was the head coach for the first place Pan American U.S. freestyle team that brought home six gold and four silver medals from Caracas, Venezuela. And finally, last summer Horpel traveled to Leipzig, Germany (formerly East Germany) with an NWCA college All-Star team for 10 days. The All-Star team dualed the German National team and competed in the Grand Prix Championship in Leipzig.

Horpel*s other duties at Stanford include teaching classes in tennis, weight training and wrestling.

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