Anthony "Buddy" Lee twice won All-America honors at Old Dominion University while earning a 122-25-2 wrestling record in 136-lb. competition.
He finished fourth in the NCAA nationals in 1980 and seventh in 1982. Lee also captured four NCAA East Regional championships and two state titles, while leading his team to two state championships.
When Lee graduated in 1982 with a degree in secondary art education, he was voted as the Senior Athlete of the Year. He also received three outstanding male athlete of the year awards at ODU, and four most-valuable-wrestler awards.
His 40-1-1 record as a sophomore established a team record for most individual wins.
Lee, who had achieved a 90-41-1 record with a state title at Highland Springs (Va.) High School, was continuing to excel at the national level in wrestling when he was inducted in 1987. A month earlier, he won his third U.S. Interservice freestyle wrestling championship and placed second in Greco-Roman competition. In three years, the U.S. Marine increased to 10 the individual national titles earned in Greco-Roman, freestyle and Sambo tournaments. That included an Armed Forces Freestyle World Championship in 1985.
"My goal is to wrestle in the 1988 Olympics, in either freestyle or Greco-Roman and maybe both," he said. His hopes of wrestling in the 1984 Olympics had been felled by a knee injury. He made the US team in the 1992 games where he placed sixth.
One key to Lee's success was his dedication in staying in shape and perfecting his techniques. Six hours a day became standard, split between early morning runs, afternoon workouts and evening saunas.
"I put the same kind of effort into my studies, with the same priority to building a mind along with body. It is a reality that this takes hard work. This makes accomplishment meaningful," he said.
Another key to his success, the All-America wrestler said, was that the ODU coaches "believed in me, pushed me to wrestle to my capability, and taught me the techniques I needed to win."