While some new college wrestling coaches clean house as soon as they take the helm, Eastern Michigan’s new head coach David Bolyard has promoted Luke Smith to a full-time assistant position after three years as a part-time assistant for the Eagles, the Ypsilanti-based school announced Monday.
Then again, that promote-from-within philosophy only makes sense, considering that Bolyard himself was promoted to head up the EMU mat program in late June, replacing Derek DelPorto, who left the position after eight years to launch a new, non-wrestling career in Nashville. Bolyard had been DelPorto’s assistant for seven years.
"I am really excited to announce the promotion of Luke Smith as our new assistant wrestling coach," said Bolyard. "Luke has played an integral part of building our program and will be a huge asset as we begin the process of taking our program to the next level."
During his career at Eastern Michigan, Smith has helped coach 10 NCAA qualifiers, as well as a Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship runner-up. During the summer of 2013, he spent a weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for the 2013 National Wrestling Coaches Association Coaching Leadership Academy. At the academy, Smith was mentored by legendary coaches and members of the wrestling community.
Prior coming to EMU, Smith gained valuable coaching experience at Old Dominion University, and at Central Michigan University. While at Virginia’s ODU, Smith's primary duties included coaching lightweight wrestlers. Smith also worked as a lightweight coach with CMU, where he helped guide the Chippewas to a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
Before launching his coaching career, Smith had a successful mat career in college and high school. As a Central Michigan wrestler, Smith qualified for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships all four years. He was the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year for the 2004-05 season. The native of Chippewa Falls, Wis. was a two-time Wisconsin high school state champ.
The newly-promoted assistant coach is appreciative of his new position, and eager to continue pushing EMU to greater success within the MAC.
"I would like to thank Coach Bolyard for the opportunity to help him take EMU wrestling to the next level," said Smith. "It has been an honor to work with Coach DelPorto and Coach Bolyard the last three years and learn from them. I am very excited in the direction this program is going and to be a part of it. In the last three years we have beaten four top-25 teams and continue to improve every year. We have a great team of hard working individuals that are driven to succeed in everything they do. I look forward to helping them become the best that they can be."