2021 COMMUNITY LEADER INDUCTEE
Floyd ‘Doc’ Buchanan is known as a ‘champion of education.’ But, believe it or not, he actually grew up wanting to be a heart surgeon.
Born in Arkansas but raised in Colorado, Buchanan attended the University of Denver, enrolling in the pre-med program. During World War II, he put his education on hold to enlist in the Merchant Marines. After the war, Buchanan returned to Colorado and he was ready to return to medical school. However, the semester was over.
Needing a job, Buchanan turned his attention to education. He taught physics and chemistry in the Denver area in the years immediately following the war.
Buchanan made a deal with his parents. In exchange for not finishing medical school, he promised them he would attend the No. 1 university in the nation for education. That is how he came out to California, graduating with a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. ‘Doc’ Buchanan was born.
In 1957, at the age of 33, Buchanan became the principal of the Jefferson Elementary School District in Clovis. Three years later, he was named the first superintendent of the Clovis Unified School District. He held that position until 1991 (31 years).
‘Doc’ Buchanan was a visionary. He looked at things in terms of medicine, such as being able to ‘diagnose’ a student. He also knew every teacher and every worker; they all mattered to him ‘Doc’ Buchanan was a man of many interests. He was a farmer and a handyman. He studied religion. He read Westerns. And he was big into sports.
A four-sport athlete in high school and a three-sport athlete in college, Buchanan was a state-recognized wrestler as a teenager who would regularly wrestle his five children later in life. He would pin all five!
Buchanan loved wrestling because it brought out the best in an individual, while also achieving team success.
In 1991, the Clovis Invitational Wrestling Tournament was renamed the “Doc Buchanan Invitational.”
Buchanan High School, which opened in 1993, is also named in honor of ‘Doc’ Buchanan.
He enters the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame posthumously, having passed away in 2015.