Mark Pustelnik

Class of 2013

East Moline (United Township)

Mark “Bam” Pustelnik began his wrestling career in 1978, at age nine, with the East Moline Wrestling Club under the guidance of his father, Ron Pustelnik and Coaches Larry Duffee and IWCOA Hall of Famer Bert Hanlin. While in Junior High, Pustelnik won three IKWF state titles, as well as three AAU National Championships in Greco Roman, and one AAU Freestyle National Championship. By winning the National Championships in 1980 and 1981, Pustelnik made the United States World Team, where he won two consecutive World Schoolboy Championships in Mexico City, Mexico and Fullerton, California.

Pustelnik attended East Moline’s United Township High School, where he earned four varsity letters in wrestling, as well as varsity letters in golf and soccer. While in high school, Pustelnik was a two time IHSA state finalist, winning the 1985 state title his junior year, with a perfect record of 45-0. Pustelnik placed second during his senior year with a record of 44 and 2.

In Greco Roman, Pustelnik won three consecutive state titles in 1984, 1985 and 1986, won the Junior National Championship and FILA Junior National Championship (17 to 20 year olds) in 1985 and 1986. Pustelnik was a member of The United States World Team in 1985 and 1986 competing in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Vancouver, Canada. Pustelnik finished 7th at the 1986 FILA Junior World Championships. Pustelnik was also selected to participate in the prestigious Dapper Dan Classic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and qualified for the Olympic Sports Festival in Houston, Texas where he finished second.

After high school, Pustelnik accepted a scholarship to the University of Northern Iowa where he would later earn four varsity letters, be voted Team Captain by his coaches, win the NCAA West region and qualify for the NCAA Division I National Championships. While in college, Pustelnik won his third FILA Junior National Championship in Greco Roman, earning him a spot on the United States World Team for the FILA Junior World Cup in Athens, Greece, where he finished third and was voted team captain by his teammates. In 1990, Pustelnik won the United States Open National Championship in Greco Roman and represented the United States in the Pan-American Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado where he won the silver medal. In 1991, Pustelnik placed fifth at the United States Open and won the gold medal at the Olympic Sports Festival in Los Angeles, California. In 1992, Bam wrestled in the Olympic Trials finals but fell short in his attempt to make the Olympic Team.

After college, Pustelnik returned to his roots accepting a teaching job at United Township High School. He was the Head Coach from 1994-2007, where he compiled a dual meet record of 205 wins and 61 losses. His teams won IHSA Regional Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007. As well as winning 6 straight conference titles

from 2002-2007, Pustelnik also had the honor of coaching all-state wrestlers seven different times including the school’s second State Champion, Lambros Fotos.

Currently, Pustelnik is an Assistant Principal at United Township High School and resides in East Moline, Illinois with his wife Kelly and children Paige, Peyton, Connor, Kaitlyn and Zach.