Darian Cruz

In high school Darian became Two-time Pennsylvania AA state champion and was a three-time place winner. He was a three-time District XI and Regional champion, four-time Beast of the East place winner and a two-time champion. He achieved two top-three finishes at the Walsh Ironman.
In 2013-14 he became Lehigh’s first true freshman All-American since 1980 with seventh place finish at 125.He battled his way back from first round loss as an unseeded wrestler to go 5-2 at the NCAA’s and finished third at EIWA Championships.
In the 2014-15 Season Cruz went 22-3 competing unattached in open competition to earn Lehigh’s Deferred Eligibility Wrestler of the Year award. He won three open tournament titles, capturing the East Stroudsburg Open, Shorty Hitchcock Memorial Classic and Edinboro Open. Darian finished second at 57 kg at University Nationals in freestyle in late May.
In 2015-16 he became the EIWA Champion at 125. He finished one win shy of earning second All-America medal. Darian went 31-7 with 18 bonus wins, leading Lehigh in both categories. Cruz posted four wins over 2016 All-Americans.
We are excited to have him be part of our  team of coaches.

Jordan Kutler

Jordan was born in Dayton , Ohio and moved with his Family to New Jersey in 2001. He attended Blair Academy and wrestled under Coach Buxton. He finished his High School career as the 2014/2015 Seasons Team Captain for the Blair Wrestling Team.

Jordan has achieved a multitude of Wins to include the most recent accomplishments 2016 UWW Freestyle All American and the Junior World Team Trial All American.
He is the FILA Cadet National Champion, is a Beast of the East Champion and a place winner, has placed twice in the Ironman and won NHSCA All American. He became two time Prep National Champion and three time All American.
Jordan has chosen Lehigh University for his College Career. He is majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and now wrestles for their Team.

We are excited to welcome Jordan to our Team of Coaches.

Zach Rey

Learn Heavyweight Style Wrestling with this TEAM USA wrestler and multiple Gold Medalist!

Zach Rey is from Hopatcong, NJ and attended Hopatcong High School from 2003-2007. Rey was a three time place winner in the NJSIAA tournament, winning state titles in 2006 and 2007.

At Lehigh University, Rey was a four time NCAA qualifier and three time NCAA placer, including finishing third in 2010, second in 2012, and taking home an NCAA championship as a junior in 2011. Rey finished his college career with 120 wins against only 15 losses, for a winning percentage of 89%. While in college, Rey represented the United States at the 2010 University World Champsionships, where he finished in 8th place with a 1-1 record.

Rey has been on the 2015-16 Team USA with a current Ranking of No. 2 at 125 kg/275 lbs. 2016 is his third year as part of the team.

Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor is a 3X prep national champion from Blair Academy, a 3X all-American (3rd, 3rd, 4th) from the University of Maryland, and currently ranks among the top 5 pinners in NCAA history.

After finishing his college career with 87 falls, a record of 165-28, and holding the most wins and pins in UMD wrestling history, Hudson went on to coach 3 seasons at Columbia University.

He now runs the non-profit organization Athlete Ally and hopes to continue giving back to the sport of wrestling in whatever way he can. 

Hudson will be running club workouts, and is available for private lessons by appointment - please contact us for more details or to set up an appointment.

Carl DeStefanis

Carl attended Locust Valley High School, where he was a four-year starter on the varsity wrestling team. He was a three-time Nassau County Champion (1978-1980) and a two-time New York State Champion (1979-1980). After graduation, Carl began his Division I wrestling career at Penn State University, where he was a four-year starter for the Nittany Lions. He was a three-time Eastern Wrestling League Champion (1982-1984) and was named EWL Wrestler of the Year in 1984. Carl set a school record for most career wins during his senior year and in 1984 capped his career at Penn State by winning the National Championship Title at 118 lbs. Carl lives in N.J. with his wife Debbie, and they are the proud parents of four children, Angela, Matthew, Rachel and Lauren. He began his career at Johnson & Johnson in 1987 and recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with the company. Over the years, he has held many different executive-level positions and is currently the senior director of new business development.

Penn State University
• 1980-1984 - Division I wrestler
• 1983-1984 - Team Captain
• 1984 - NCAA Division I Champion in the 118-lb. weight class
• 1984 - Set school record for most career wins
• 1984 - Inducted into the Eastern League Hall of Fame
• Three-time Eastern Wrestling League Wrestler of the Year

Locust Valley High School
• Graduated 1980
• 1976-1980 - Varsity wrestling
• 1978 - All-County
• 1979 - All-State, NYS Champion, All-County, member of the NYS Championship Team
• 1980 - All-State, NYS Champion

Mario Mason

We would like to announce that Mario Mason has just been added to The Buxton School of Wrestling Staff!

About Mario: 'The Shot Doctor' Mario Mason is a charismatic individual with a true love for the sport of wrestling. A smooth unassuming technician from the neutral position, his high energy, and all around competitive nature allows him to be a coach with great passion for the sport.

Mario served as Assistant Coach to Bergen Catholic High School which finished #1 in NJ and #5 Nationally. Bergen Catholic won the District 7 Team Title and the NJ Non-Public "A" State Title. Mario also Assisted at St Augustine Prep during the 2013-2014 season. The Prep finished 2nd behind Bergen in the NJ Non-Public "A" and they won the District 32 Team Title. During the 2014 individual state tournament, in Atlantic City, The Prep and Bergen combined for 3 State Champions and 4 additional State medals. In the Summer of 2014 Mario was asked to assist NJ's Freestyle National Team. Team NJ finished with upwards of 15 All Americans and 4 Champs. Team Mason accounted for 2 All Americans.

Mario wrestled at the #1 ranked Blair Academy and wrestled for Jeff Buxton, one of the most decorated high school coaches in the country. Coach Buxton's technique intensive, hard nosed environment helped shape his high school career, as well as laying down the building blocks to becoming a coach. 3x Prep National Champ Ironman Invitational Champ Beast of the East Champ 3x Fargo National Freestyle Champ (1 Cadet and 2 Junior) 125-12 career record including an unblemished 40-0 Junior campaign NHSCA Junior and Senior National Champ After High School Mario went on to wrestle for, then #1 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers coached by the legendary J Robinson for 2 season. He finished his collegiate career with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Fila Junior National Champion Freestyle University National Champion Junior Pan Ams Runner Up in Venezuela 3x NCAA Qualifier Midlands Runner Up



Source Info above taken from:!about/c66t

Jeff Buxton

Internationally Recognized Wrestling Coach

In a fitting tribute from the American wrestling community, the national hierarchy of U.S. amateur wrestling came to northern New Jersey for a major Olympic fundraising dinner early in 2006 and honored Blair Academy’s longtime head coach Jeff Buxton with USA Wrestling’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The speakers included wrestling legend Dan Gable, U.S. Olympic Coach Steve Fraser and recently retired Olympic Gold Medalist 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 presentation depicting former Buxton Blair wrestlers in action at the most-recent NCAA’s, those of 2005. As the video showed, Coach Buxton’s wrestlers won 30 matches at those NCAAs and took five All American places that included an amazing two firsts, one second and a third.

Jeff Buxton was a coach and math teacher at Blair Academy starting in 1982. At first, Jeff coached both lacrosse and wrestling at Blair, but eventually he focused on wrestling, becoming co-head wrestling coach in 1984 and head wrestling coach in 1991.

Coach Buxton’s success at Blair is legendary

His teams and his individual wrestlers 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 have varsity wrestling programs, Coach Buxton’s Blair teams have been the #1 team in the USA ten times, starting in 1995-1996 and running through the 2011-2012 season. In addition to those two seasons, they were #1 in the USA in 1996-1997, in the first six seasons of the 21st century (meaning 2000-2001 through 2005-2006) and in 2008-2009.

To date, Blair graduates who wrestled for Jeff Buxton have won an unprecedented 37 NCAA Division 1 All American places, to include 10 individual NCAA crowns, 6 seconds and 7 thirds. Moreover, they have been critical members of 7 NCAA Division 1 championship teams.

Coach Buxton’s individual NCAA champs include four 2-time champions, namely, Pat Santoro (Pitt), Steve Mocco (Iowa & Oklahoma State), Mark Perry (Iowa) and Kellen Russell (Michigan). In addition, Zack Esposito (Oklahoma State) and Ed Ruth (Penn State) have each won one NCAA title.

On two different occasions two Buxton wrestlers won individual titles at the same NCAAs: In 2005 Zack Esposito and Steve Mocco won NCAAs for Oklahoma State, and in 2012 Kellen Russell won NCAAs for Michigan and Ed Ruth won NCAAs for Penn State.

Under Jeff Buxton, Blair won the USA’s top in-season high school tournaments 26 times, more than twice as often as all other teams in the country, COMBINED. Specifically, Blair won Beast of the East 16 times and Ironman 10 times. Aside: St Edward (OH) has the 2nd most team titles at Ironman and Beast with a combined total of 6, five coming at Ironman and one at Beast.

Blair wrestlers have won 98 individual crowns at these two outstanding tournaments, 51 at Beast and 47 at Ironman.

Moreover, Blair won the National Prep Tournament every one of Coach Buxton’s 30 years at Blair. During that time, Blair wrestlers captured 160 individual National Prep championships.

Coach Buxton’s 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 anywhere, 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 were selected to 8 ASICS All American First Team berths and went on to win 14 NCAA Division 1 All American places, this despite the fatal illness that struck Adam Frey early in his college career and the serious injuries that prevented two other NCAA careers. Wrestlers from the Blair 2001-2002 team are on the Hall of Fame walls at Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Iowa, Iowa State, Maryland and Oklahoma State.

Jeff Buxton’s USA #1 team of 2008-2009 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 America’s best colleges was Jeff and Carol Buxton’s son, Tony, who is a member of Harvard’s Class of 2013.

Known for his selfless contributions to the development of wrestlers, Coach Buxton ran an open wrestling room at Blair, one in which many non-Blair wrestlers developed their skills. In the off-season, Jeff worked year in, year out with the New Jersey state teams that went to the national Cadet and Junior Freestyle Duals in June and the Cadet and Junior National individual tournaments in Fargo, ND in July.

Under Coach Buxton, a number of Blair’s best wrestlers have been from New Jersey every year, among them future multi-year NCAA All Americans Steve Mocco, Kellen Russell, Zack Esposito, Hudson Taylor, Kurt Backes and Sean Gray. In addition, thanks to the exceptional reputation of the Blair program under Coach Buxton, wrestlers have come to Blair from all over the USA, and from outside the country as well.

In the 21st century alone, Jeff Buxton had starting wrestlers from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Among the most famous of these were Iowa’s 4-time NCAA All American and 2-time NCAA Champ Mark Perry, who came to Blair from Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Penn State’s 2012 NCAA Champ Ed Ruth, who came to Blair from Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. In addition, famed youth coach Marat Tomaev, who won Ironman, Beast of the East and National Preps, the latter two tournaments twice each, came to Blair as a teenager — 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 States Olympic Team. He is a member of the Rhode Island Hall of Fame and in 2009 was selected as the first ever National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) “National Prep Coach of the Year,” an award he won twice more, including in 2012.

In addition to their son Tony, Carol and Jeff Buxton have a daughter, Siena, Blair Class of 2011 and High Point (NC) College Class of 2015.


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