Oregon Mourns Loss Of Volunteer Wrestling Coach

May 8, 2001

EUGENE - Dave Abraham, who worked as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at Oregon for the past six seasons, died at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland last Thursday afternoon following an extended illness. He was 62.

Abraham (10/15/38), a native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, accumulated more than 40 years of experience in the sport, including a stint as the USA Junior World Coach in 1975. Prior to coming to Oregon as an assistant in 1996, Abraham was head wrestling coach at North Bend High School where he was named National High School Coach of the Year in 1992.

'I just never heard him say a negative thing,' said Ron Finley, former head coach at Oregon from 1970-1998. 'When he was at Oregon he wouldn't say a bad thing, it always had to be positive. That's the way he always wanted it.'

As a college wrestler at the University of Colorado, Abraham was a Big 8 Conference runner-up at 157 pounds in 1958. Following his successful collegiate career, Abraham had his first coaching position at San Francisco State, where he was a graduate assistant in 1963. He helped lead the Gators to a conference championship before becoming an assistant at UC Davis in 1964. Abraham also helped lead the Aggies to a conference championship that year while earning a master's degree in history.

The following year, Abraham took over at North Bend and enjoyed a successful 30-year tenure in which his teams had over 500 wins and won 17 district titles. During Abraham's career at North Bend, 15 wrestlers graduated with All-America honors and his teams had a total of 58 state placers.

Abraham was inducted into the Oregon Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1997.

Memorial Services will be held this Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. at the Cottage Grove High School Auditorium.

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