Class of 2013
Mark Kristoff began his wrestling career with the East Alton Recreation Center in East Alton (IL) wrestling for Coach Mike Turkovich, placing top six twice in the IKWF.
Kristoff wrestled in high school at Bethalto (Civic Memorial) for coaches Gary Wintlen and Steve Bradley, qualifying for the IHSA state tournament three times. As a freshman he showcased his skill set with a sparkling 29-1-1 record and captured the 98-pound District and Sectional titles. As a 112-pound sophomore he produced a 31-4 record and followed that up with a junior season record of 32-2 including the 132-pound District and Sectional championships.
Kristoff completed his high school career as the Eagles first undefeated class AA IHSA (138 pound) State Champion, 39-0 and finished with a career record of 130-6-1.
An all-around athlete, Kristoff earned three varsity letters in football, four in track, and four in wrestling. He still holds the Bethalto H.S. Pole Vault record of 14′ 0″. He also was the River Bend Area Lineman of the Year for 1981.
Wrestling for his father and IWCOA Hall of Fame Coach Larry Kristoff, at Southern Illinois Edwardsville (SIUE) the next season, Kristoff experienced immediate success. He became a four time NCAA All-American and a National Champion for the Cougars. Finishing third as a freshman (150 lbs.), second as a sophomore (150 lbs.), second as a junior (167 lbs.), and won the 167 pound national championship his senior season, Kristoff is considered one of the greatest NCAA DII wrestlers in history. He was a member of three NCAA National Championship teams for SIUE and team captain his senior year. Kristoff currently has scored the second most points at the NCAA tournament by a Cougar wrestler.
Upon graduation Kristoff began his coaching career at Parkway Central High School (Chesterfield, MO) helping turn their program around from a team that never placed at the state tournament into a top four team with three individual state champions in two short years. Kristoff also was named to coach the Missouri 1991 National Cadet team. Kristoff left Parkway Central for a coaching opportunity at Cahokia Senior High School where he produced IHSA finalist and NCAA Champion Titus Taylor.
Kristoff left coaching to devote more time to his four daughters. He became an IHSA official in all three disciplines of wrestling, Folkstyle, Freestyle and Greco-Roman. Beginning officiating in the St. Louis area in 1978 and in Illinois since 1982, he has worked many IHSA regional and sectionals as well as five IHSA State tournaments. Kristoff in addition has officiated many IKWF local tournaments including nine IKWF state finals.
He is the only person to walk in the IHSA Grand March as a wrestler, coach, and official.
Kristoff is currently teaching in the Cahokia School District #187 and is an avid hunter, hiker, kayaker, skier, boat, motorcyclist and fisherman.