Abas, Stephen

Dominating opponents at 125 pounds, the always exciting Abas won three national championships and was a four-time All-American at Fresno State from 1998 to 2002. Then, having conquered the collegiate ranks, he climbed onto the international stage and gained acclaim in the freestyle ranks by winning two world titles and claiming a silver medal in the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Without a doubt, he is the best wrestler ever at Fresno State and among the elite in NCAA history. His collegiate record was an amazing 144-4, with 40 major decisions, 33 technical falls and 32 pins. After his freshman season, he lost just once in a Bulldogs uniform for Coach Dennis DeLiddo. In 2004, Abas was named, along with fourteen other wrestlers, to the NCAA's 75th Anniversary Wrestling Team.

Abas made one more try at Olympic glory in 2008, ultimately losing to Henry Cejudo in a best-of-three faceoff at the Olympic Trials for a spot on the U.S. team. Abas retired from competitive wrestling after the Olympic Trials, but continues in the sport as a coach and is well-known for holding wrestling camps. In 2000, Abas had taken a year off from Fresno State to pursue a spot on the Olympic team, missing a spot by an eyelash when he lost in the finale of the Olympic Trials.

He came to Fresno State after a brilliant high school career at James Logan High School and Canyon Springs High School. Abas finished his prep career with a 190-10 record, winning three consecutive state titles and finishing fourth his freshman season. He was only the seventh wrestler in high school history to win three California state titles. Abas holds the national season takedown record (406) and national career takedown record (1,246). He also was a three-time Junior National team member and took first place in the 1996 Asics Junior National Freestyle Championships.

After high school, Abas followed in the footsteps of his older brother Gerry, a four-time All-American and later an assistant coach for the Bulldogs.