Following an outstanding high school career at Niskayuna, New York where he won a New York State Championship at 215 pounds, Jeff entered Springfield College in the fall of 1975. While a member of the Springfield College team, Jeff earned NCAA II All-American honors at heavyweight three times by placing second in the 1977 National Championships, and first in the 1978 and 1979 NCAA II National Championships. Jeff also earned NCAA I All-American honors twice by placing sixth in the 1978 NCAA I Nationals and third in the 1979 Nationals. His career collegiate wrestling record while competing at Springfield College for Coach Doug Parker was 62-9-1.
Following Jeff's graduation from Springfield College in 1979 he spent the next four years as a graduate assistant coach under Bucky Maughan at North Dakota State University. During that time he helped Bucky with the NDSU team, worked on his master's degree and trained as a Greco Roman wrestler for international competition. In 1980 Jeff won the Olympic Trials in his weight class, but didn't compete in the Moscow Games because of the U.S. boycott. In 1984 Jeff again won the Olympic Trials. Competing in Los Angeles, Jeff won the Olympic Gold Medal as Heavyweight in Greco Roman wrestling. Upon winning, Jeff immediately dropped to his knees, blessed himself, and cried for joy. He was selected by his fellow United States Olympic athletes to carry the American Flag in the Closing Ceremony of the 1984 Olympics. Jeff's victory took on special meaning when people learned that he had battled cancer for two years before the Olympic Games. Doctors diagnosed him as having Hodgkins's Disease in July of 1982. He underwent radiation therapy and an operation for the removal of his spleen, and was back wrestling three weeks after surgery.
Despite the discovery of another growth in 1986, which is now in remission, Jeff has remained very active as a motivational speaker for wrestling and a number of charities including the American Cancer Society. Jeff has done numerous television commentaries for NCAA and Olympic wrestling competitions. He has served as a U.S. Olympic Committee Ambassador and was named by President Clinton to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport.
Jeff and his wife Lori live in Albany, New York where he works for a public relations firm. In 1987 Jeff received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Springfield College and he was inducted as the youngest member of the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bill enrolled at North Dakota State University in the fall of 1968 to wrestle for Coach Bucky Maughan. He was a three time North Central Conference Champion and a four time NCAA All-American. As a sophomore Bill earned his first All-American honors by placing sixth in the 1970 NCAA College Division National Championships at 158 pounds after winning the NCC Championship at 167 pounds. During Bill's junior year he moved up to the 177 pound weight class and highlighted an undefeated season by winning his second NCC Conference Championship and then winning NDSU's first ever College Division National Wrestling Championship in 1971. Also during that same year Bill advanced to the NCAA University Division Nationals and became NDSU's first ever place winner in that tournament by placing sixth. During Bill's senior year he won his third NCC title and was voted the meet's Outstanding Wrestler. He followed that up by winning his second NCCA College Division National Championship at 177 pounds. Bill's career record at NDSU was 69-7.
Following Bill's graduation in 1972 he spent two years as an assistant coach at Fargo South High School and one year as a head coach at Richfield High School in Minnesota. In 1976 he was offered the head wrestling coaching position at a brand new high school in Apple Valley Minnesota. In the past twenty years he has turned Apple Valley High School into a wrestling dynasty. In his fourth year at Apple Valley his team was the State Runnerup and he was named the 1980 Minnesota High School Coach of the Year. In his twenty year career at Apple Valley he has won six State Championships, four seconds, one third, one fourth and one fifth. His wrestlers have won eighteen individual high school state championships and have gone on to win four collegiate National Championships and twenty collegiate All-American awards. His overall career coaching record is 407-70-4. Bill has twice been the Minnesota State Coach of the Year and in 1995 was selected by the Wrestling USA Magazine as the National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year. He has served as the president of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.
Bill and his wife Sharon have two sons, Chad and Matt. Both sons served as captains of the Apple Valley High School wrestling team. Matt had a very successful collegiate wrestling career at the University of Wisconsin where he won two NCAA I National Championships.
Koln enrolled at Augustana College in the fall of 1981 to wrestle for Coach Paul Kendle after winning the State High School Championship at Beresford High School in South Dakota. While a member of the Augustana College team, Koln earned All-American honors five times and set records at Augustana that will probably never be equalled. As a freshman in 1982 Koln placed second in the NCAA II Nationals at 177 pounds after winning the North Central Conference Championships. Following a redshirt year in 1983, Koln again won the North Central Conference in 1984 as a sophomore and was seeded number two in the NCAA II's but an injury the night before the tournament prevented him from competing. Very little stopped Koln during the next two years. He moved up to 190 pounds and placed first and was selected as the Outstanding Wrestler in the North Central Conference and the NCAA II Nationals both years. He also earned All-American honors by placing in the NCAA I Nationals both years. As a junior Koln placed fourth at the NCAA I Nationals while compiling a season record of 49-5, and as a senior his record was 47-1 with his only loss at the NCAA I Championships where he lost to Duane Goldman of the University of Iowa in the semifinals on his way to a third place finish.
Koln's overall record at Augustana College was 155-19. His career wins is a school record for Augustana College, as are is his 49 wins in a season, his 47 consecutive wins, and his twenty career technical falls. In 1986 Koln was selected as Augustana College's Honor Athlete of the Year, and he was also named South Dakota's Male College Athlete of the Year.
Koln currently is the head wrestling coach and a teacher in Cushing High School in Cushing Oklahoma. He and his wife Nancy have two children - Karson and Kyle.
Bucky Maughan graduated from Moorhead State University in 1964 after an outstanding competitive career. He won three national championships at Moorhead State including two NAIA titles and an NCAA I Championship. He was also a state high school champion and owned a string of seventy consecutive prep wins at Cannonsburg High School in Pennsylvania.
Following his graduation from Moorhead State, Bucky was hired in 1964 as only the second head wrestling coach for a struggling North Dakota State University team. For the past thirty three years, he has guided the Bison to almost unparalleled success. Coming into the 1996-97 season his team has compiled an overall dual record of 328-90-9 for a winning percentage of 77. Under Maughan, NDSU has recorded twenty-seven consecutive winning dual meet seasons. His teams have finished among the top ten teams in the NCAA II Nationals a total of twenty-four times, including a string of fifteen straight years and twenty-one finishes in the top five. NDSU won the NCAA II National Championship in 1988. Along with that title performance, the Bison have captured four second place finishes and five third place finishes. During the Bucky Maughan era, NDSU has won the North Central Conference Championship a record thirteen times, including a streak of nine consecutive titles. That is the longest championship streak in any sport in the North Central Conference history.
Bucky has provided his leadership on the national level by serving a term as the President of the NCAA II Wrestling Coaches Association, and by serving as a member of the executive committee of the National Wrestling Coaches Association. This year through Bucky's leadership North Dakota State University will be hosting the NCAA II National Championships for the fourth time. In 1976 Bucky was inducted as a member of the NAIA National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Bucky has been selected by his fellow coaches as the NCAA II Wrestling Coach of the Year three times in 1982, 1988, and 1993.
Bucky and his wife Leota have two sons, Jack and Bret. Both Jack and Bret wrestled for their father and they were both two time NCAA II All-Americans. Jack is currently the head coach at the University of Northern Colorado and Bret is currently the head coach at Moorhead High School.
Doug Parker was the head wrestling coach at Springfield College for 35 years from 1955 to 1990. During that time period Springfield College had 35 consecutive winning seasons with an overall record of 485 wins, 159 losses, and 11 ties for a winning percentage of 75. From 1955 to 1978 he coached an amazing 110 individual New England Champions. During those same years his teams won the New England Championships 22 out of 24 years, winning sixteen titles in a row from 1955-1970.
From 1966-1990 Doug coached 35 NCAA II All-Americans, including eight national finalists. One of his wrestlers, Jeff Blatnick won the NCAA II heavyweight national championship title in both 1978 and 1979. Jeff also earned two NCAA I All-American awards for Coach Parker and Springfield College by placing sixth in 1978 and third in 1979. Doug coached the Springfield College team to twelve top twenty national placings, with five placings in the top ten. He also won two NCAA II Eastern Regional titles in 1979 and 1980 and crowned nineteen individual NCAA II Eastern Regional Champions. One of Doug's biggest thrills in coaching was watching his former Springfield College athlete and All-American Jeff Blatnick win a gold medal in the super heavyweight division of Greco-Roman Wrestling in the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Doug's contributions to the sport of wrestling go beyond the success of his teams. He served in many leadership capacities including being the president of the National Wrestling Coaches Association for six years, membership secretary of the NCAA II National Wrestling Coaches Association for twelve years, president of the New England Wrestling Coaches Association for six years, and a member of the NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee for five years. Doug was selected as the New England Coach of the Year in 1970, 1972 and 1978. In 1982 he was elected to the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1990 coach Doug Parker retired from his position as a professor and head wrestling coach at Springfield College. He and his wife Patricia still live in the Springfield area and Doug is actively involved in various college functions. Since Doug's retirement, Springfield College has hosted an annual Doug Parker Wrestling Invitational in his honor.
Brad had an outstanding career at Appleton High School in Minnesota, where he was a two time Minnesota State Champion and was also a national junior Greco Roman Champion. In the fall of 1971 Brad enrolled at North Dakota State University to wrestle for Coach Bucky Maughan. While a member of the NDSU team Brad earned NCAA II All-American honors three times at 190 pounds by placing sixth as a freshman in 1972, second as a junior in 1974, and first as a senior in 1975. He also earned NCAA I All-American honors as a senior by placing fourth. Brad's career record at NDSU was 96-11 and he won three North Central Conference Championships. An injury during Brad's sophomore year while he was enjoying an undefeated 17-0 season possibly prevented him from winning a fourth NCC crown and more All-American honors. After Brad's senior season he was selected the outstanding athlete of 1975 for both North Dakota State University and the state of North Dakota.
Following graduation from NDSU, Brad spent three years as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota and two years as an assistant at North Dakota State while training as a Greco Roman wrestler for international competition. From 1975 to 1980 Brad was perhaps the top U.S. Greco Roman wrestler. He competed in three world championships and he earned a spot on both the 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams. He also earned gold medals in both the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games. In 1976 Brad placed fourth in the Olympic Games and that was the highest that any American had ever placed at that time in Greco Roman competition. In 1979 Brad was a Bronze Medalist in the World Championship. In 1980 when Brad won the U.S. Olympic Trials he was one of the gold medal favorites in his weight class. The U.S. Olympic boycott of the Moscow Games cost him an opportunity to be the first American to ever win an Olympic Gold Medal in Greco Roman competition.
Following the completion of his amateur competition, Brad had a successful career in professional wrestling from 1981 to 1990, competing in the American Wrestling Association and the World Wide Federation. He was the AWA Tag Team World Champion in 1989 and 1990. He currently is a talent agent for the New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Inc.
Jeff and his wife Margaret live in Hamel, Minnesota. In 1983 he was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the U.S. Wrestling Hall of Fame, and he served as an assistant Coach for the 1984 Olympic Greco Roman Wrestling Team.