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David Bolyard promoted to head wrestling coach at Eastern Michigan

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David Bolyard, associate head wrestling coach at Eastern Michigan University since 2007, has been promoted to take the helm of the EMU Eagles mat program, the Ypsilanti school announced Wednesday.

Bolyard replaces Derek DelPorto, who, after eight seasons as head coach, announced his resignation in May to move to Nashville for a career outside of college wrestling.

At the time of his announcement, DelPorto singled out Bolyard for praise, saying, “I need to recognize and give special thanks to my Assistant Coach of seven years, David Bolyard, for helping bring the Eastern Michigan wrestling program back to relevancy."

"It is exciting to be able to announce David Bolyard as our next head wrestling coach," said EMU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Heather Lyke. "What stood out for our committee and me about David is not only his competitive passion for Eastern Michigan wrestling, but his focus on positively impacting our student-athletes through the sport of wrestling. David is well prepared to lead our team and continue to augment the success of the program."

Bolyard brings considerable knowledge and experience as a wrestler and coach within the state of Michigan and the Mid-American Conference, first as a wrestler and assistant coach at Central Michigan, then on the coaching staff at Eastern Michigan.

The Akron, Ohio native brings nine years of NCAA Division I coaching experience to his new position. Prior to being named head coach at EMU, Bolyard spent seven years as the associate head coach with the Eagles. During his tenure at the Ypsilanti school, he coached 16 NCAA championship qualifiers and 33 All-Mid-American Conference placers. What’s more, Del Porto and Bolyard coached teams that earned spots among top-30 of the National Wrestling Coaches' Association (NWCA) All-Academic Team Award six out of seven years.

Before joining the Eagles staff, Bolyard served as a graduate assistant at Central Michigan for two seasons. While on the staff at his alma mater, the Chippewas won back-to-back MAC team titles, with ten individual wrestlers earning conference crowns. What’s more, in those two years with Bolyard on board, CMU placed among the top 30 teams at the NCAAs, with five NCAA All-Americans and 15 national qualifiers.

As a wrestler at Central Michigan, Bolyard was a four-time NCAA qualifier, earning All-American honors by placing sixth in the 165-pound bracket at the 2004 NCAAs. The two-time NWCA Academic All-American won an individual MAC Championship in 2005, while also being named CMU's Chick Sherwood Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Bolyard graduated from CMU in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship before continuing his education and earning a master's degree from Central in athletic administration in 2008.

Bolyard expressed his eagerness to take the reins of the Eastern Michigan program.

"I would like to thank Heather Lyke, Senior Associate Athletics Director Chris Hoppe and the entire search committee for their commitment through this process," Bolyard said. "Over the past seven years I have become extremely invested in the success of our student-athletes and this program. Being named the head wrestling coach at Eastern Michigan University is truly an honor and I am excited about the opportunity to help lead this program to the next level."

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