Press release of October 24, 2012, 4:30 pm
District saddened at loss of volunteer coach Jeff
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district and
community are deeply saddened by the death today of
volunteer varsity wrestling coach and former Olympic gold
medalist Jeff Blatnick.
BH-BL athletic director Bob McGuire
valued Blatnick as not only a personal friend but
also a long-time supporter of the district's
"Jeff was a very valuable member of
our BH-BL athletic coaching staff," says McGuire.
"He was a man who was totally respected by everyone
he touched. He was respected for his knowledge,
character and spirit. Jeff was a major part of our
wrestling program and was a great role model for
students who came through our program."
"Jeff came to me and asked if he
could volunteer to help coach. What do you say to an
Olympic champion who asks to help! You say 'Yes!!
Welcome abroad and let me get the door for you!'
Well, that door opened up six years ago for the
BH-BL wrestling program, and because of Jeff's hard
work, passion, pride and love for the sport, our
wrestling program started a new tradition. Jeff will
be truly missed by our entire coaching staff, our
wrestling community which we call family, and all
members of our community. We have lost a true
gentlemen, leader, coach, and friend."
Blatnick and his wife Lori were
BH-BL parents and residents and have been active
supporters for many years of both the interscholastic wrestling
booster club and the Pee Wee Wrestling club for
In addition to many other honors
over his athletic career, in 1984 Blatnick was one
of the first Americans to ever win an Olympic gold
medal in Greco-Roman wrestling.