Class of 2016 Inductee
Has anyone bled purple and gold more than John ‘Buddy’ Wleklinski?
It’s hard to remember when he hasn’t been a significant figure at Christian Brothers Academy … From a great senior year (1975), when he played point guard for CBA’s first Section 3 champions and was the all-CNY shortstop for the unbeaten league titlist … to now, when he prepares for a 33rd season as head basketball coach.
Collegiately, Buddy played in the backcourt for Dick ‘Doc’ Sauers at the University at Albany, where the ’79 grad was the team’s most improved player as a junior.
Since 1980, the CBA gymnasium has been his workplace. Yes, he did teach business, math and physical education. And he’s coached junior high soccer, as well as varsity and JV tennis.
But it’s on the court — the one bearing his name since 2008 — that he’s best known … as a teacher of basketball, developer of young student-athletes and winner of more than 470 games.
Head coach since 1984, his teams have captured nine league championships, been in 13 Section 3 finals (winning eight in four classes) and played their way to three New York State Final Fours. His 1996-97 team won the state Class C crown.
Despite being moved up to Class B, A and AA in recent years, Wleklinski’s teams continue a winning tradition and have had several back-t0-back 20-win seasons.
He has also been his alma mater’s athletic director since 1989, during which time 10 teams and several individuals have won state championships.
His coach of the year honors: Section 3 (2003, 2009, 2015, 2016), CNY (1997, 2009), New York State (1997).
The 2004 CBA Hall of Fame inductee received the Blind Men & Criers’ John Arcaro Coaches Award in 2012, CBA’s Lasallian Educator of the Year Award (2013-14 school year) and became a New York State Basketball Hall of Famer in 2015.
Now, Buddy Wleklinski is a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2016.