James George Arbuthnot was born on December 31, 1883 in Nebraska. He came to Oregon Agricultural College in 1906 to serve as Athletic Director, a post he held until 1918. During this time, Arbuthnot was also the coach of the OAC wrestling team (1911-1917, 1920). Although Arbuthnot had only wrestled for exhibitions and had never participated in a meet, the team, under his guidance, held a 10-3-3 record and achieved five conference titles. Throughout the program's history, the Oregon State wrestling team has been conference champions 49 times.
From 1921-1929, Arbuthnot was head coach of the University of Washington wrestling team. For ten of the twelve years between 1919 and 1930, he was also the tennis coach.
James Arbuthnot married Harriet Carrie on December 28, 1912. He died December 2, 1964 in Placer, California.
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