SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Brendan Buckley, Columbia's Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling since 2000, has been named Head Wrestling Coach at California Polytechnic State University.
"Brendan has been an integral part of the Columbia Athletics family and Columbia Community for the last 11 years," said Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. "I know this was a difficult decision for him. I have no doubt that he will do great things at Cal Poly. We wish him nothing but the best as he begins the next phase of his career. We will miss him."
Buckley presided over some of the most successful wrestling team in Columbia history. In 2007, Columbia earned its first-ever top 25 national ranking, and Columbia's recruiting classes were named among the nation's top 25 twice during Buckley's tenure.
In May 2011, Buckley received the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Bob Bubb Coaching Excellence Award for the 2010-11 season. The award, intended to recognize an outstanding coach who epitomizes the qualities and characteristics of a role model and mentor for developing young student-athletes, is presented annually to one coach across each division of collegiate wrestling. Buckley was the NCAA Division I winner.
Buckley coached Columbia's first two-time All-American, Matt Palmer '07CC, and Columbia's first EIWA Champion since 1995 in 2009. He coached 46 All-Ivy League wrestlers, including six first-team honorees.
Buckley's teams have also succeeded in the classroom, earning National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic Squad recognition each of his 11 years and ranking third nationally in team grade point average in 2011.
"I have truly loved my time here at Columbia," said Buckley. "It has been an honor to work with the nation's oldest collegiate wrestling program. The alumni support I've received has been instrumental to our success. I feel good that this program is poised for great things."
A search for a head wrestling coach will begin immediately.