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Classic Coaches Jeff Buxton Pt 2
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Head Coach Jeff Buxton
In a fitting tribute from the American wrestling community, the national hierarchy of U.S. amateur wrestling came to New Jersey for a major Olympic fundraising dinner in 2006 and honored BlairÂs Jeff Buxton with USA WrestlingÂs Lifetime Achievement Award. The speakers included wrestling legend Dan Gable, U.S. Olympic Coach Steve Fraser and recently retired Olympic Gold Medallist Rulon Gardner, who was honored along with Coach Buxton.
One of the highlights of the evening for the four hundred in attendance was a special video depicting former Buxton Blair wrestlers in action at the 2005 NCAAÂs, where two of JeffÂs protÃ©gÃ©s won NCAA crowns.
Coach BuxtonÂs success at Blair is legendary. His teams and his individual wrestlers have established a standard of excellence widely respected throughout the wrestling world, both in the United States and abroad.
Of the more than 10,000 high schools in the United States that wrestle, Coach BuxtonÂs Blair teams have been the #1 team in the USA eight times, including six years in a row the beginning of this decade, and were again USA #1 in the 2008-2009 season.
Jeff Buxton has been a coach and math teacher at Blair Academy since 1982. At first,
Jeff coached both lacrosse and wrestling at Blair, but eventually he focused on coaching wrestling, becoming co-head wrestling coach in 1984 and head wrestling coach in 1991.
Blair has won the National Prep Tournament every one of Coach BuxtonÂs 27 years at Blair. During that time, Blair has had 145 individual National Prep Champions.
Under Jeff Buxton, Blair has won the USAÂs top in-season tournaments 21 times. Specifically, Blair has won the renowned ÂIronmanÂ in Ohio 8 times, which is more than all other programs in the country combined. Blair has won the other top tournament, the ÂBeast of the EastÂ in Delaware, 13 times, including the last 9 years in a row. Begun in the mid-1990Âs, these two events typically feature most of the best teams in the country, yet Coach BuxtonÂs Blair teams have won the overwhelming majority of them and have rarely finished lower than second.
To date, Blair wrestlers under Coach Buxton have won 40 individual Ironman championships, 38 individual Beast championships, 14 Senior Nationals titles and 12 Junior Nationals Freestyle crowns.
Beyond that, Blair graduates who wrestled for Jeff Buxton have won 32 NCAA Division 1 All American places, so far. Moreover, they have won 7 individual NCAA crowns and taken 6 NCAA seconds and 6 thirds. Along the way, Coach BuxtonÂs former Blair wrestlers have been an integral part of 5 NCAA championship teams.
The 2005 NCAA tournament was a milestone event for Blair grads who had wrestled for Coach Buxton as five of them won NCAA All American places, with 3 getting to the NCAA finals and 2 winning NCAA championships. The two Blair NCAA Champs helped enable Oklahoma State win the 2005 NCAA team title.
Coach BuxtonÂs Blair USA #1 team of 2001-2002 is considered by many wrestling experts and students of the game to have been the best high school wrestling team ever. It was known for its extraordinary talent, its unparalleled depth and its ability to generate huge bonus points up and down its line-up. Wrestlers from the 2001-2002 Blair team have won 14 NCAA All American places and are on the Hall of Fame walls at Iowa, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Maryland, Columbia and Harvard.
JeffÂs most recent USA #1 team, the 2008-2009 squad, holds a special place in Blair Academy history. Not only did it prove to be a surprisingly dominant, perhaps over-achieving team, but among the outstanding graduates it sent off to AmericaÂs best colleges was Jeff and Carol BuxtonÂs son, Tony, who is studying and wrestling at Harvard as a member of its Class of 2013.
Known for his selfless contributions to the development of wrestlers throughout New Jersey, Coach Buxton has long had an open wrestling room in which many non-Blair wrestlers have developed their wrestling skills. In the off-season Jeff works with the New Jersey state teams that go to the national Cadet and Junior Freestyle Duals in June and the Cadet and Junior Nationals in Fargo, ND in July.
Every year a solid core of Blair wrestlers are New Jersey natives, as the names of Blair NCAA All Americans from New Jersey, such as Kurt Backes, Zack Esposito, Steve Mocco and Hudson Taylor, attest. However, the reputation of BlairÂs program under Coach Buxton is so widespread that wrestlers come to Blair from throughout the USA, and even from outside the country. Eventual 4-time NCAA All American and 2-time NCAA Champ Mark Perry came to Blair from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Marat Tomaev, who won Ironman (twice), Beast and National Preps for Blair, came from Russia.
A dyed-in-the-wool Boston Red Sox fan, Jeff Buxton was a three-sport athlete at Providence Country Day School in Rhode Island, where he played lacrosse and football and wrestled. He was undefeated all four years as a wrestler, and won the National Prep Tournament in 1975.
Coach Buxton wrestled for the University of Rhode Island, and was the Outstanding Wrestler at the 1980 Northeastern Regional Trials for the United StatesÂ Olympic Team. He is a member of the Rhode Island Hall of Fame and in 2009 was the first ever National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Prep Coach of the Year.
In addition to son Tony, Carol and Jeff Buxton have a daughter, Siena, Blair Class of 2011.
Providence Country Day School
University Of Rhode Island
27 Prep National Team Championships 9 National Team Championships