Jeff Buxton named U.S. Men’s Freestyle World Team Coach

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 10, 2019, 11:43 a.m. (ET)
Photo of Jeff Buxton coaching Joey McKenna in the 2018 Final X by Richard Immel.

Jeff Buxton of Easton, Pa., head coach of the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club, has been named as the volunteer coach of the 2019 U.S. Freestyle World Team, which will compete at the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, September 19-22.

Buxton will coach alongside USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick and the USA Wrestling Men’s Freestyle National Coaching Staff in Nur-Sultan.

Buxton became head coach for the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club in 2012, and has guided the athletes at this respected national club and Regional Training Center affiliated with Lehigh University since then. He has coached numerous athletes who have made the Freestyle National Team or earned Senior-level All-American honors, including 2019-20 national team member Darian Cruz.

For many years, Buxton has coached U.S. men’s freestyle international tour teams which have competed in a number of different nations. He has also been a personal coach and coaching staff member for past U.S. World Teams. Buxton has attended and coached at numerous U.S. National Team training camps in the last decade.

Prior to joining the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club, Buxton was recognized as one of the nation’s top high school coaches, serving three decades with the national power Blair Academy in New Jersey. Buxton was a coach and math teacher at Blair starting in 1982. At first, Jeff coached both lacrosse and wrestling at Blair, but eventually focused on wrestling, becoming co-head wrestling coach in 1984 and head wrestling coach in 1991.

During his tenure, Blair won 30 National Prep team titles and finished as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation 10 times. He coached numerous wrestlers who went on to success at the college level and the international levels.

Among the multiple-NCAA champions who wrestled for Buxton at Blair were Pat Santoro, Steve Mocco, Mark Perry, Kellen Russell and Ed Ruth. Mocco became a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and Ruth later competed on the 2014 U.S. Senior World Team.

For many years, Buxton was active in USA Wrestling’s New Jersey state association, coaching with Team New Jersey at the USMC Junior and Cadet Nationals, helping coach numerous national champions and All-Americans. He also served on the New Jersey’s Coaches Council. He currently coaches youth wrestlers at the Buxton Athletic Training Center in New Jersey.

Buxton was an NCAA qualifier for the University of Rhode Island and a New England Conference champion. He was the Outstanding Wrestler at the 1980 Northeastern Regional Trials for the U.S. Olympic team. He was an undefeated high school wrestler for Providence Country Day School in Rhode Island.

Buxton received USA Wrestling's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Buxton is a member of the Rhode Island Hall of Fame and was selected in 2009 as the first-ever NWCA "National Prep Coach of the Year," an award he won three times.