Head Wrestling Coach Jeff Breese announces his departure


Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

On May 2nd, the Buena Vista University (BVU) Wrestling team broke the news that Head Coach Jeff Breese will be departing at the end of this year. 

Having completed his fourth season as the leader of the team, Breese felt it would be in his best interests to pursue a new goal as he has been named the new head wrestling coach at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. The Lake Erie Storm compete at the Division II level. 

Breese, while exiting on a poor season in which the team only collected one win in their ten duals, will be fondly remembered for his connections with his wrestlers. 

“There are a lot of great people at BVU,” says Breese. “I will be leaving behind friends and mentors. Absolutely no one will be missed like my guys. This group trusted me with the opportunity to lead them and will be missed above and beyond everyone else. It is still very hard to think about leaving them.” 

 Though bittersweet on leaving Buena Vista, Breese understands the opportunity presented to not only him, but his family as well at Lake Erie. As his wife, Zoey, prepares to have a baby, Breese looks forward to expanding his own family as well. 

“The biggest influence was 100 percent my family,” says Breese. “I haven’t lived near my family in nearly a decade chasing the coaching dream. My wife and I have a child due in October. Ultimately, this seemed like the right move for my entire family.”  

 Though not amassing the number of wins that he would have liked, Breese still collected a number of awards and improved the program. Since his first season in 2014, Breese has coached two IIAC Freshmen of the Year, one national qualifier, and multiple nationally ranked wrestler.  

In addition, Breese takes pride in his teams’ academic records and volunteer work. At BVU, Breese has coached Scholar All-Americans, and recorded national high team GPA’s. The Beaver Wrestling team was awarded the Beaver Service Award for civic engagement in 2015 as well. 

Along with bonding with his student-athletes, Breese has formed a great connection over his four years in the position with his assistant, Sean White. 

“Coach Breese leaving was tough for me because he is the one who hired me,” says White. “For the past four years we have been working together to build this program. Every day at work I learned something new and he was always pushing me to be a better coach. He has been a mentor and a great friend. Him leaving definitely made a lot of work for me but through it all, the program has continued to move forward and I would not have been able to do so without the tutelage of Coach Breese.” 

 White also gave some insight into the hiring process of new candidates for the head coaching job. 

“All I know about the new hire is that they want to move fast and to have candidates on campus before school is out. I do not know of potential candidates besides myself. I am looking to take over the role of head coach,” says White. 

As his time in Storm Lake draws to an end, Breese cleans out his office and packs his awards. Through the process, he reflects back on his favorite moments as head coach. 

“As a coach, victories and losses have a way of staying with you in a significant way for a long time,” says Breese. “There are also so many stories, inside jokes and random moments that will make me smile for years to come. My favorite event was the Dinner and a Show event two seasons ago against Nebraska Wesleyan. That particular night, everything seemed to fall into place. Guys wrestled with joy and excitement. They executed well and put on a great show. As a coach, it’s the breakthroughs that you remember the most, not really the end of the journey.” 

 As the Beaver Wrestling team says goodbye to Jeff Breese, they will never lose the connection they gained with a friend and mentor along the way. 

Coaches coach for their athletes. I have some great young men that I will no longer get to coach. That is the saddest part about leaving. I hope they get an even better leader and man to follow after me,” says Breese. “Zoey and I studied and worked at BVU. We even got married at the Arch. We will be lifelong Beaver fans.”