NWCA Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Award Winners announced

The National Wrestling Coaches Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Awards for the 2010-11 season. 

The award is presented annually to one coach across each division of collegiate wrestling. It’s intended to recognize an outstanding coach who epitomizes the qualities and characteristics of a role model and mentor for developing young student-athletes.

This year’s winners are: Brendan Buckley (Columbia – Division I), Steve Costanzo (St. Could State – Division II), Ron Beaschler (Ohio Northern – Division III), Tim Jager (Morningside – NAIA), Scott Norton (Highline – NJCAA), and Mike Tellez (Rio Hondo – CCC).

“Since the inception of the Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Award, we’ve been able to recognize and honor those coaches who go above and beyond when it comes to more than just coaching,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “This award is designed to recognize coaches who totally embrace the concept of educationally-based athletics.”

Brendan Buckley, The Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling, at Columbia University has been the leader of the lions since 2000.

His team finished 7th at the EIWA Championships, with two wrestlers earning trips to the NCAA Championships. He had six wrestlers earn All-Ivy League Recognition as well this season, including one first team selection in Kevin Lester.

In each year since Buckley has been the head coach his team has successfully made the All-Academic Team, five of those years were in the Top 10.

St. Cloud State head coach Steve Costanzo garners the honors for Division II, he was also Bob Bubb Award Winner in 2003 when he was the head coach at Dana College.

His team placed second at the NCAA Championships in 2010-11, which is the best they have done in team history. They also earned a third place finish at the 2011 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals.

Costanzo’s thirteen year career holds 47 All-Americans which is almost even to his record of 46 NWCA All-Academic Athletes. In the past four seasons his team has finished the year in the Top 20 Academically.

Representing Division III is Ron Beaschler, the head coach at Ohio Northern, who wears many hats other than just coach. He is currently serving as the chairperson of the Department of Human Performance and Sports Sciences, he is an assistant professor in the Health and Physical Education Department and coordinates the sport management program at Ohio Northern.

Amidst those jobs he also will be starting his term as the NCAA Secretary Rules Editor a longtime position that was held by Bob Bubb until 2011.

Beaschler is currently the all-time winningest coach in school history and also holds the longest tenure as head wrestling coach at ONU.

Tim Jager of Morningside College has been coaching at the NAIA school for seven seasons. He is currently the President of the NAIA Coaches Association. He was also the 2011 GPAC and NAIA North Region Coach of the Year after he guided the Mustangs to their first-ever GPAC and NAIA North Region Championships

Jager’s team also came in No. 2 on this year’s NWCA/NAIA All-Academic Team with five wrestlers receiving individual honors.

Highline Community College head coach Scott Norton has been with their program since 2003. He had four All-Americans for the second year in a row, with his team placing 10th at the NJCAA Championships.

The Highline team placed third in their region behind the eventual first and second place teams at the NCAA Championships Clackamas CC and North Idaho College.

Mike Tellez of Rio Hondo Community College has been the head coach for the past five years; he has had 13 All-Academic Wrestlers in that time. He has also won three conference championships and has seen a dramatic improvement with his team in his time at Rio Hondo.

This year his team faced adversity at their first tournament of the year when one of his wrestlers, Jesus Cruz, collapsed during a match and went into cardiac arrest, he passed away after arriving at the hospital. Coach Tellez kept his team together during this difficult time and they finished the season placing 20th at States.

“I want to personally congratulate my fellow coaches who are receiving the Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Award this year. They are all tremendous ambassadors for our sport and they represent the highest standard in coaching,” said NWCA President Brian Smith.


The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.

The three core competencies of the NWCA are: Coaching Development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.

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