There is a sound coming from the University of Northern Colorado. If you listen you hear a growl, and then you realize it is a Bear. That Bear is Tony Schunke, and while he was attending the school back in the early 2000’s you could hear that Bear roar! More frightening than a Grizzly, Tony had a terrific record as a UNC Bear as he struck fear into the hearts of those staring at him from across the mat mainly because they knew that falling down and playing dead would not work out so well for them. Tony was even an All-American at the school he attended in Kansas prior to transferring to UNC. Well, about 15 years later that Bear is still roaring as loud as ever as he has taken his immense athletic skills and wrestling knowledge to the next level as a Coach. In his 5th season as a volunteer Assistant Coach, Tony is continuing to keep the Bears a highly competitive University team, and when he isn’t volunteering at the college level, he is volunteering at the youth and High School level as well.
Coach Tony obviously is passionate about what he does. His winning intensity as an athlete and as a coach has brought him many accolades. However, Coach Schunke admits that his wrestling experience as both a competitor and a coach was narrowly focused on just winning… “It was all about winning”, but now after going through a refiner’s fire of a deep faith this great coach has re-accessed his motivation and his goals. Now Tony sees his role to be more of a real life mentor to his many wrestling kids in his wrestling club, Colorado Elite Wrestling. Tony has refocused that tremendous passion and winning attitude to not just develop winning wrestlers, but actually making a deep and meaningful impact into the personal lives of these kids on several levels. He will turn nobody away and “will take ANYBODY that wants to come in and wrestle.” He now develops winning people and focuses on creating an important relationship with these kids that consider his program to resemble that more of a family than that of just a simple wrestling club whose relations that go even beyond winning at the sport.
Coach Tony has a goal of getting “as many Colorado kids wrestling as possible”, and he is roaring his way to the Rocky Mountain Nationals with a handful of other affiliated coaches including several of his former students that have come back within his sphere of influence to bring forth a hungry team ready to feast at the tournament as they win with passion and integrity!