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NC State alum Jeff Breese new head coach at Iowa’s Buena Vista

Jeff Breese, new head wrestling coach at Buena Vista University
Jeff Breese, new head wrestling coach at Buena Vista University
Photo courtesy of Buena Vista University, used with permission

Jeff Breese, former North Carolina State wrestler and Director of Wrestling Operations for the Wolfpack, will now take the head coaching job at Buena Vista University, the Storm Lake, Iowa school announced Monday.

Breese takes over from Sevond Cole, BVU head wrestling coach for the past six seasons, who, prior to taking the helm in 2008, had been an assistant coach for the Beavers since 2001.

Since 2012, Breese has served as operations director at his college alma mater. While on staff at NC State, he managed the team's budget and coordinated its travel schedule, co-directed social media and video promotions, developed a satellite camp system and a match film system, and directed match day events and activities, among other duties.

In addition, Breese also directed fundraising and alumni relations activities for the school’s Wolfpack Wrestling Club. He also worked hand-in-hand with the Wolfpack Regional Training Center, organizing and helping to direct a system that trained over 300 wrestlers annually.

Breese launched his college coaching career in 2006, as an assistant coach at Seton Hall University. He then became the first head coach at Penn State New Kensington in 2009 before moving to Division I Northern Illinois University as an assistant coach in 2010.

Throughout his coaching career, Breese has coached 21 NCAA qualifiers, including one national champion (Nick Gwiazdowski, 2014 NCAA Division I heavyweight champ for NC State), and three All-Americans. In addition, as a coach, he has helped select four top-30 national recruiting classes, including one ranked in the top five.

Prior to becoming a coach, Breese built an impressive wrestling career, as a three-year starter for the NC State Wolfpack before graduating in 2006. The native of Claysville, Pa. was also a two-time Pennsylvania High School state champion in 1999 and 2001.

"I am excited to have Coach Jeff Breese joining our department as the new head wrestling coach," said Buena Vista Director of Athletics Christyn Abaray. "Jeff brings with him his experience competing at the Division I level and coaching at both Divisions I and III levels, from upstarting a program to training All-Americans. Knowing we are here to develop future leaders, Jeff has shown that he sees the holistic development of the student-athletes as the main priority. I am thrilled to have him on board and look forward to the growth of our wrestling program."

The new head coach shares in that excitement.

"I am thrilled and very blessed to have the opportunity to guide a program with such a great history in one of the most competitive conferences in all of wrestling," said Breese. "It is very exciting to present my vision for the program and work with our student-athletes to help them reach their goals. The most gratifying aspect to becoming a head coach is being able to honor the countless people that have mentored me and shaped my approach to coaching."

"Buena Vista Wrestling has strong wrestling tradition that should be celebrated," Breese continued. "I want our current student-athletes to continue to build upon that tradition and make their own legacy."

Breese takes the helm August 1.

It’ll be quite a week for Breese. In addition to being selected to head up the Buena Vista mat program, he will also be welcomed into the Washington-Greene County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, June 13.

According to the school's website, Buena Vista University has approximately 1,000 students at its campus in Storm Lake, Iowa in the northwest portion of the state. The school’s athletic programs including wrestling compete in NCAA Division III.

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