“Growing up and having two older brothers we were pretty much the same size, Buehner
explained. “Then by seventh grade I just shot up and got to 6-2 and by my eighth grade year I
was 6-5, it happened real quick.”
The coaches at Laurel Highlands took notice.
Family played a huge role in Buehner's development.
“I was very fortunate,” Buehner said. “I have to say that most of the success I have was
because of my family. Great parents who worked hard to make sure that we succeeded. My
Dad was the first one to make sure we were doing things. His father died at an early age and he
didn't get to play sports; he had to go to work at an early age. He wanted us to do well in school,
and have fun playing sports.
“We certainly took his advice and with my brothers they were great athletes in their own right.
Early on I got pushed around a bit, but it toughened me up. Bill is five years older than me, he
was a real good athlete. Bob who ended up having a full scholarship to Tulsa University was a
very good athlete. Those two guys made me a better athlete. I was very lucky with my parents
and my brothers."
At 6-5 215 pounds, Buehner was a force on the football field at LH. He played on teams that
posted records of 3-7 in 1969, 5-4 in 1970 and 3-6 in his senior campaign in 1971.
“I had good coaches throughout my career. We never won a football championship, but we were
competitive especially that junior year. We lost some tight games including a tough one at
Monessen 14-6. Charleroi won the league that year and we actually beat Charleroi at our place
Buehner played for Fred Botti and has a lot of respect for the old LH grid boss.
“Coach Botti was a good coach,” Buehner observed. “It wasn't like it is today, you didn't see
much of Coach Botti in the off-season. Coach Botti was conscientious about his players and
treated me well.”
A tight-end and linebacker, Buehner was All-County in football and was named Third-team All-
State at tight-end as a senior, but playing in the Big 33 All-Star game was something he is very
“There were some great players around here in those days,” Buehner explained. “That particular
year, they picked 33 players from the West and 33 players from the East and we weeded them
out for the right to play against Ohio. I played linebacker in that game and we beat a great Ohio
team that had Archie Griffin 27-22.”
Buehner who is affectionately known to former teammates and friends as “Moose”, was tagged
with his nickname at a summer basketball camp at Gettysburg, by former University of Virginia
coach Bill Gibson.
On the hardwood Buehner had an outstanding career at LH, playing on squads that posted
records of 15-7 in 1969-70, Buehner in limited action as a sophomore tallied 36 points. In
1970-71 the Mustangs won Section 7 and went 20-4, but were upset by Gateway in the WPIAL
playoffs 61-57. Buehner scored 188 points as a junior. In his senior campaign Buehner scored
311 points, averaging 12 points a game, and the Mustangs had an outstanding season finishing
with a 21-6 record.
LH had a great run in the WPIAL tournament: downing McKeesport 65-63, Sto-Rox 67-66 and
Penn Hills 62-53. The Mustangs lost to Farrell in the WPIAL championship game 70-65 and
then lost to Meadville in the PIAA playoffs 72-60.
“Basketball at LH was special,” Buehner said. “Their was great enthusiasm and support for
Mustang basketball. Football never got on a roll like basketball did. Playing football and
basketball really helped me as an athlete. We learned from the disappointing loss to Gateway,
and the younger guys built on that when we had the run in 1971-72.
“I had to work at basketball, assistant Coach Ron Fudala worked with me individually and really
improved my game.”
Buehner has fond memories of former LH basketball coach Harold “Horse” Taylor.
“Coach Taylor was such a great guy,” Buehner opined. “He could convince you to be a great
teammate and play your role. He was a great organizer.”
Buehner was named Fayette County athlete of the year in 1972, beating out the likes of Albert
Gallatin's Stan Boskovich and Brownsville's Mike Collins.
“Looking back I was blessed to play with some great players at Laurel Highlands,” Buehner
stated. “Bill DeShields was a great running back and Gus Gerard was an outstanding basketball
player, and I got to play with former players like Wil Robinson and Jim Hobgood when they
came back and scrimmaged. It was a special time.”
Buehner was heavily recruited for football and wound up going to Penn State. With the Nittany
Lions he was a part of some great teams. In 1973, Penn State went 12-0 and was number five
in the polls. In 1974, they were 10-2 and in 1975 they finished 9-3.
Buehner was a back up defensive tackle to Mike Hartenstein and played with Heisman Trophy
winner John Cappeletti.
“I got a good education and made great friends,” Buehner stated. “Looking back there is a
difference between want and need. Penn State wanted me, but Maryland and Tulsa needed
After graduating from Penn State, Buehner returned to Uniontown and worked in the mines for US Steel, and
played for the semi-pro Pittsburgh Colts. He then had a tryout with the USFL Philadelphia Stars. Buehner
finished school with a Master's Degree in health and physical education at West Virginia, and started his teaching career
in 1989. He was an assistant football coach at Laurel Highlands and Uniontown. Buehner was named Head Football Coach at Laurel
Highlands in 1990. He was LH’s coach for 12 years and then had a second head coaching stint
at LH for six years. He was an LH assistant basketball coach during this period.
“Real success is finding your life's work in the work that you love,” Buehner said. “I knew what I
wanted to do, teach and coach. It was my passion.”
Buehner, 64, and his wife of 18-years Mary Jo reside in the Chalk Hill, PA area.