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BuzzEllsworth 2018  


Inducted: 2017 - Player

Hometown: Worcester, Mass.

Born: Sept. 1, 1960


A true "Iron Man" of ultimate, David "Buzz" Ellsworth was the picture of consistent top-level play over a 15-year career in the club open division and an equal amount of time competing in the sport's other divisions. He was the first player to win national titles in the college, club open, masters and grand masters divisions. Buzz was a warrior – full stop. He was always ready to compete against anyone at any time, was able to play any position and never wanted to come off the field. His leadership, toughness, intensity and never-quit attitude inspired a higher level of play from teammates and opponents alike. Off the field, as the director of Denver/Boulder youth ultimate for over a decade, it’s impossible to fully describe the impact Buzz has had as an organizer, mentor and coach on that community’s youth ultimate programs, YCC teams and the current and rising star players it has produced. Respected by all as a person of honor, integrity and a wide-open heart, both on and off the field, Buzz is one of the sport’s great players and ambassadors. 



Playing Career | US Nationals | WFDF Worlds | Contributions & ServiceInterview


Playing Career

Team Name
1980, 1984-1986   ZooDisc
1981-1982, 1989-1991   Condors
1985-1987   Titanic
1989   New Zealand National Team
1992-1993   Stains
1994, 1996, 2009-2011   Beyondors
1997   Nice Guys
1998-2000, 2003-2008, 2010, 2017   Old and in the Way
2001   High Plain Drifters
2009   Confluence
2013   Yomo Fog Oho
2015-2016   Johnny Walker


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David Ellsworth coaching ultimate at Northfield Mt. Hermon High School (UMass)




David Buzzworth displaying his physicality with a vicious block

US National Championship Tournaments

Name    City    Year    Division    Placing
Condors   Santa Barbara   1981   Open   Champion
Condors   Santa Barbara   1982   Open   Regionals
ZooDisc   Massachusetts   1984   Open   Regionals
ZooDisc   Massachusetts   1984   College   Semifinals
ZooDisc   Massachusetts   1985   Open   Second
Titanic   Boston   1985   Open   Fifth
ZooDisc   Massachusetts   1986   College   Champion
Titanic   Boston   1986   Open   Semifinals
Titanic   Boston   1987   Open   Semifinals
Condors   Santa Barbara   1989   Open   Regionals
Condors   Santa Barbara   1990   Open   Ninth
Condors   Santa Barbara   1991   Open   Regionals
Stains   Boulder   1992   Open   Regionals
Stains   Boulder   1993   Open   Regionals
Beyondors   Santa Barbara   1994   Masters   Semifinals
Beyondors   Santa Barbara   1996   Masters   Semifinals
Nice Guys   San Diego   1997   Open   Regionals
Old and in the Way   Boulder   1998   Masters   Regionals
Old and in the Way   Boulder   1999   Masters   Champion
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2000   Masters   Semifinals
High Plain Drifters   Denver   2001   Mixed   Semifinals
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2003   Masters   Second
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2004   Masters   Second
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2005   Masters   Champion
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2006   Masters   Pool
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2007   Masters   Pool
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2008   Masters   Pool
Beyondors   Santa Barbara   2009   Masters   Semifinals
Confluence   Boulder   2009   Grand Masters   Fifth
Beyondors   Santa Barbara   2010   Masters   Sixth
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2010   Grand Masters   Champion
Beyondors   Santa Barbara   2011   Masters   Second
Yomo Fog Oho   Denver   2013   Grand Masters   Champion
Johnny Walker   Denver   2015   Grand Masters   Champion
Johnny Walker   Denver   2016   Grand Masters   Champion

WFDF World Ultimate Championships

Name    City    Year    Venue    Placing
Condors   Santa Barbara   1991   Toronto, Canada   Fifth
Condors   Santa Barbara   1993   Madison, Wis.   Ninth
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2000   Heilbronn, Germany   Champion
Old and in the Way   Boulder   2001   Akita, Japan   Third
U.S. Beach National Team       2011   Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy   Champion

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David Buzzworth at his first College Nationals



Q: What position(s) (e.g., handler, deep cutter, middle middle) did you usually play?

A: I love all positions. As a rookie on the Condors, it was tough to break in on the handler set, so I was downfield a lot, but it wasn’t long before I wanted the disc all the time. I pretty much liked running the whole field. I loved playing against great players on defense and loved the fast-break turnovers. I loved getting up in the air to get the disc. In zone, I played some mid-mid, but I was pretty much always a deep and sometimes a wing.

Q: Please describe your major accomplishments - both as a teammate and individual?

A: I was the co-MVP at Nationals during college in 1986, along with Mike Nevins. I would pretty much do anything for my team. I was the captain in Santa Barbara in the late '80s to 1990, and I won national titles in four divisions. 

Q: Please explain why you stood out among the elite players of your time. What was it that you did best, or were known for?

A: I was always ready to compete with anyone at any time. I loved the challenge of playing defense against the best players and loved running hard. I never wanted to come off the field. 

In big games, I felt like I could be the difference in a team’s chances of winning or losing. I used to love long points because I could run hard forever and tire out my guy. I liked baiting throws and accelerating to get blocks. 

As far as leadership roles, other than captaining, I had the energy to lift the team's energy to a level necessary to win or stay in a game, whether that be through encouraging my teammates to believe we could win or leading by example by playing hard and having enthusiasm on the field. I loved to layout.

Q: What role did you play on the best (or most overachieving team) that you played on?

A: Usually I covered an impact player on the opposing team and handled the disc because I could get open a lot. 

Q: What year was the peak of your career? During which years were you playing as the "stud" of your team? If you continued playing after your peak years, how did your role change? In what year did you stop playing at the top competitive level?

A: Probably the mid-80s to mid-2000s. I really feel like my consistency and skill level came together with my fitness and endurance level in the late 80s and 90s, but I feel like even when I went to the masters division, which was back and forth with the open division a few times, I could have gone either way division wise. After my peak years, I would try to make sure that I didn’t turn over the disc and played angles on defense that would hopefully rule out a thrower wanting to throw to my guy. I just played open in 2013 and got to regionals, played Bravo and some other good teams. Overall, I felt pretty good. 

Q: Have you served in an official capacity as an officer, committee member, coordinator, or volunteer for USA Ultimate/UPA or other recognized ultimate or disc sports organization, or as a coach of a team? Describe role and dates served.

A: I was hired by Northfield Mt. Herman High School in 1985 to teach and coach ultimate. There, I taught ultimate gym classes and coached the varsity team. We lost to Stuyvesant in the high school finals in 1987. 

Afterwards, I was hired by Cal Poly-SLO to teach ultimate classes in 1989. I also coached the Cal Poly ultimate team in 1989 and 1990. 

Q: Have you made other contributions to the development of ultimate?

A: Director of the Denver/Boulder youth ultimate for 11 years. Our leagues went from strictly Denver with only 60 players to Denver and Boulder locations with over 200 players.

Coached YCC U-19 open for five years and coached U-16 boys in 2014. I manage the program with the leagues to be a launching pad for competitive players to tryout and travel to YCC. 

I also teach Level I coaching workshops for USA Ultimate.

Q: Why do you believe you are worthy of being inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame?

A: I was an impact player and played with and against the best (a lot of whom are in the HoF). I was lucky enough to play at a high level for a long period of time. I welcomed the sport of ultimate with all my heart and soul because it and the people involved welcomed me with all their heart and soul. I feel like I am a good ambassador of the sport and will always respectfully carry the memories and experiences I’ve had in the game. 

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