Jason Bryant and Buddy Lee to be Inducted into VA Chapter of NWHOF
GLEN ALLEN, Va. -- ODU alums Jason Bryant and Anthony "Buddy" Lee will be inducted into the Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 22, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Annual Hall of Fame Awards & Induction Ceremony at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings in Glen Allen, Virginia, just outside of Richmond. Bryant will be honored for Lifetime Service while Lee is the 2017 Outstanding American Nominee.
"Buddy Lee had a tremendous impact on the wrestling program and the athletic department as a whole at Old Dominion," Monarch head coach Steve Martin said. "He was an extremely talented athlete who learned technique very quickly, and within no time he was competing against the best in the nation and the world. Jason Bryant is one of the most well-known announcers and commentators in the sport of wrestling. We are grateful for the impact he has made on our program and the sport as a whole. We are very proud of his accomplishments."
Lee, the sole 2017 Outstanding American Nominee, was a two-time NCAA DI All-American for the Monarchs, placing fourth in 1980 and seventh in 1982 en route to compiling a career record of 122-25-2. Lee also captured four NCAA East Regional championships and two state titles, while leading his team to two state championships.
After graduating from Old Dominion University with a degree in secondary education, Lee went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was twice Marine Athlete of the Year. He was also an assistant coach for the US Marines 5X National Championship Team and has been recorded as "one of the greatest Marine wrestlers in the history of the Marine Corps."
Excelling in the international styles, in Greco-Roman he captured 14 Armed Forces National Championships, three U.S. Greco-Roman titles and one World Military Championship crown. In freestyle, he was a two-time World Military champion. Lee made the 1992 United States Olympic Team in Greco-Roman and was the first alternate for the squad in 1988. He was also the Olympic torch bearer in 1996.
A native of Highland Springs, Virginia, the ODU Sports Hall of Famer and three-time ODU Male Athlete of the Year went on to become the president and founder of Jump Rope Technology Inc. after developing a worldwide reputation as a skilled jump roper. He has put on jump roping exhibitions and performed motivational speaking engagements for numerous national and world leaders.
The current President of the National Wrestling Media Association and the founder and owner of Mat Talk Online, an online distribution network of wrestling podcasts, including one for Old Dominion, Bryant has become one of the most well-known and respected voices in the sport of wrestling, serving as the PA announcer for hundreds of wrestling events over the past 22 years, including the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and as the English-speaking announcer at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He recently wrote a piece for the Monarch Magazine about his experience in Rio in the Fall 2016 issue, which can be viewed here.
As a student, Bryant was never a competitor for the Monarch wrestling team but was an active part of the program under Hall of Fame coach Gray Simons. Bryant served as the PA announcer for roughly 90 percent of the Monarchs' home matches from 1997-2004, and after graduating, he often drove from his then-home in Pennsylvania to announce home duals. He also assisted current coach Steve Martin and the new coaching staff with weekly newsletters distributed to fans and alumni of Monarch wrestling before moving on to work for the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Bryant was also the Sports Director at WODU, calling men's and women's basketball and baseball for the campus radio station, a columnist and later Editor-in-Chief for the Mace & Crown.
As noted by The Virginian-Pilot, Bryant also likes to point out he's credited for coming up with "The Ted" nickname for the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Prior to leaving the area, Bryant also worked for the Daily Press in Newport News from 1996-2004 in a number of positions after starting out as a clerk. In addition to copy editing and page design, he covered a number of sports, primarily wrestling, where he had a weekly wrestling notebook and provided area wrestling rankings.
The ceremony is set to take place this Saturday, April 22, with the reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. and the ceremony commencing at 6 p.m. from the Wyndham Virginia Crossings in Glen Allen, Virginia.