An outstanding running back during his playing days, Ben Buys returns to his alma mater as a first-year assistant coach at Azusa Pacific.
Buys, who is fourth on Azusa Pacific's all-time rushing chart and the program's all-time leading scorer, works with the Cougar running backs.
He returns to Azusa Pacific and the game of football after spending the past 5 years as a youth pastor at a local Southern California church. In addition to his ministry work, Buys also served one seasons as the offensive coordinator for the 8-man football program at Pacific Lutheran High School in Torrance, Calif.
Despite a career cut a season short by injuries that also forced him to miss another 8 games in a 3-year span, Buys rushed for 2,516 yards in his 26-game (97.8 avg.) career from 2002 to 2004. He registered a dozen 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 243 vs. Southern Oregon in 2003, and led the Cougars a 28-6 record, the best 3-year run in program history.
As a 2002 redshirt freshman, he rushed for 855 yards and 16 TDs (second best single-season total to Christian Okoye's school-record 21 TDs), and followed with 996 yards and 12 TDs in just 7 games of his 2003 sophomore year (he missed the final 3 games after suffering torn ankle ligaments on a career-long 83-yard run and certainly would have become just the seventh Cougar to rush for a 1,000 yards in a season had he been able to play another game). As a 2004 junior, he tallied 665 rushing yards on 174 carries with another 9 TDs. Despite having an additional year of eligibility, the physical wear had taken its toll and Buys stepped away from the game with a school-record 37 touchdowns and 226 career point scored.
He guided the Cougars to a pair of NAIA playoff appearances, including advancement to the 2004 semifinals.
Buys competed 3 seasons in track & field at Azusa Pacific and was a member of the Cougars' 2001 (outdoor) and 2002 (indoor) NAIA national championship team as a triple jumper.
He came to Azusa Pacific after fashioning an all-state career at Denver (Colo.) Christian High where he set 7 school record in 4 seasons, including 4,580 career rushing yards and 356 points.
In 2007 he appeared on Fox's "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" hosted by Jeff Foxworthy.
Buys graduated from Azusa Pacific in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in youth ministry, and he is currently working on his master's degree in physical education at Azusa Pacific.
Ben and his wife, Carlie, also an Azusa Pacific alum, live in Azusa.