“He was still berating me as I drove off the farm”

Adam Derengowski on wrestling at Foxcatcher

Adam Derengowski outside his home

By: Adam Derengowski 9/20/2016

After my junior year in college, I called the NCAA Champion that lived in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania to see if he would train. I would drive up to East Stroudsburg 5–6 days a week and train with him. One day, he was asked to come down to Foxcatcher. So we went there, trained with a bunch of guys there, and they asked us to come back to train. So instead of driving over to East Stroudsburg I would drive over to Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

In 1990, I did what is called a Red Shirt year. Where I wouldn’t take my eligibility for the NCAA because I was training at Foxcatcher. Foxcatcher took me to my first international competition in November of 1990, called Sunkist International. In the semifinals, I beat the US Olympian from the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. I went onto the finals and lost to a Russian, but Foxcatcher were so impressed that they said that I was their number one guy in that particular weight class. I qualified for a US team that was going to the Soviet Union because of the Sunkist International Competition. We were going to go to Moscow, Minsk, and then to Siberia for a competition. It was a long trip and I was around so many great athletes it really accelerated getting better as an athlete. I came back from that and I competed in the University Nationals and I won.

The next year I wrestled for my College, Rider University, and ended up taking third in the NCAAs. Afterwards I really didn’t want to go to the National Tournament in Las Vegas because I had just taken third in the NCAAs and I was feeling good. I wanted to take a break on the Olympic level but John DuPont insisted that I go. He asked me when my final exams were. I told him and he said “You’re going to come in my private jet and we are going to fly out after your exams”. I didn’t end up making weight for the competition because when I got to the plane it was stocked with Lobster and so much other food.

After going out to Las Vegas I was offered a residency at Foxcatcher and to be an assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania. Then the Coaches of Iowa State University, Joe Gibbons and Jim Gibbons, said “listen, you just beat our 4 time all American and we want you to come out and teach our camps”. I went out there and on the last day Jim Gibbons said to meet him at the football stadium. I went over there and he introduced me to the athletic director and they offered me a position as an assistant coach at Iowa State. I immediately said yes and signed the contract. Then I went back to The Farm which is what we called Foxcatcher. I was going in to tell John DuPont that I was going to take the job at Iowa State but I would still like to compete with Foxcatcher. He got really angry and told me to get out and he chased me out yelling at me the whole time. I walked out to my car, I started my car while he was still berating me as I drove off the farm and that’s how I left.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.