Dan Loyd, left with Head Coach Grant MacKenzie. Loyd has been wrestling ever since he can remember, and is a current staff writer for the Michigan Journal (Courtesy of UM-Dearborn Wrestling Club)

By: RICKY LINDSAY, STAFF REPORTER

Current University of Michigan-Dearborn wrestler Dan Loyd has been participating in the sport he loves for as long as he can remember.

Along the way, he’s experienced the highs and lows the sport offers, its participants as well as success at each level.

Dan Loyd, left with Head Coach Grant MacKenzie. Loyd has been wrestling ever since he can remember, and is a current staff writer for the Michigan Journal (Courtesy of UM-Dearborn Wrestling Club)

Loyd’s roots in wrestling go back to his childhood. His father was a wrestling coach, so Dan started participating in the sport at a young age, with his first match coming in kindergarten.

“I didn’t really choose wrestling,” said Loyd. “I’ve been wrestling almost as long as I’ve been walking, so it’s more of a way of life.”

Loyd attended Allen Park High School in his hometown. He ran track, played football, and of course, wrestled, for the Allen Park Jaguars.

He was on the varsity track team all four years, where he ran the mile, two mile, and 400 x 800 relay. He played varsity football for two years, earning starts at nose guard during his senior season.

He experienced most of his success during high school with the sport he grew up with; wrestling.

Loyd was a four year varsity wrestler, a two time captain, a three time regional qualifier, and a two time state qualifier, including a sixth place finish in the state during his senior year. Loyd racked up more than 100 wins during his high school career, and had many memorable moments along the way.

“By far my greatest moment of high school wrestling was walking with my teammates for the Grand March at the state tournament,” said Loyd.

Loyd went on to attend Central Michigan University after high school to pursue his passion of educating others. He received his bachelor’s degree in History and English while not participating in any sports.

He returned home to southeast Michigan to attend UM-D as a graduate student. Since then, he has also reunited with the sport he loves, suiting up for the Wolves Club Wrestling program.

Allen Park Jaguars logo (Courtesy of schoolspan.com)

“After being out of the sport for so long it feels good to be reminded of the extreme highs and lows,” said Loyd. “That’s what makes it such a great sport.”

While it’s only his first season with the Wolves, Head Coach Grant MacKenzie is already impressed with Loyd.

“Dan Loyd has everything a successful student-athlete needs in his tool box and his enthusiasm is contagious,” said MacKenzie.

“Loyd is respected by his peers, co-workers, administrators, students and athletes he works with. Loyd coaches wrestling at Allen Park Middle School and sets a great example for his athletes. I need 10 more Club members like him at U-of-M Dearborn”.

Loyd is currently 24 years old and is in the midst of his third semester at UM-D, where he is in the Secondary Teacher Certification program. He hopes to be student teaching at this time next year.

He also expresses an interest in journalism and writing. Loyd was a news intern with WDET Detroit Public radio for one year, and is currently a part time reporter for WHMI in Howell. When he’s not reporting for WHMI, Loyd contributes to the Michigan Journal as a staff writer.

Besides wrestling and the classroom, Loyd has several other hobbies. He likes to brew his own beer, play disc golf, and run several races, including 5k’s and marathons. He is currently training alongside friends and family for the Tough Mudder race this June.

Loyd is also an educator through sports, where he currently coaches wrestling and will soon add track to his repertoire. Last year, he was an assistant with Allen Park High School’s wrestling and track teams. This year, he took over as Allen Park’s middle school wrestling, cross country, and track head coach. Loyd loves coaching, and plans to continue doing it.

“I will always be involved in coaching of some kind, in almost any level and in almost any sport,” said Loyd. “It is one of my favorite things to do.”

One thing is obvious with Loyd; he is extremely passionate with everything he does in life, from a career in education to wrestling, the sport he loves.