Aug. 21, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling program has added Daryl Thomas as a volunteer assistant, head coach Ryan Ludwig announced Thursday.
Thomas, a former 133-pounder at Illinois, will work with the Huskies' lighter weight classes.
"Daryl is a great addition to this coaching staff," Ludwig said. "He rounds out the needs of our program in terms of having a lightweight coach. I've had the chance to build a relationship with Daryl through the years and I know that he is a fierce competitor. Furthermore, he is a fine model to those that he mentors and coaches. We are thrilled to have him on board here at NIU."
Last year, Thomas was an assistant at Edwardsville High School, where he helped the Tigers advance four wrestlers to the Illinois state tournament. In addition, EHS also won the team title at the Granite City Regional and finished the regular season with a perfect 28-0 record and a Southwestern Conference title.
"I'm extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity," Thomas said. "I'm excited to get to work and help these guys reach their goals and be somebody they can lean on when they need to.
"I look be a guy whose specific to those lightweight guys and whose wrestled some of those weight classes. I look to bring an edge and confidence to these guys and instill belief in themselves that they can compete at a high level."
At Illinois, Thomas finished with a 53-47 record with six pins. The Edwardsville, Illinois, native was a two-time placewinner at the Big Ten Championships - placing sixth in 2012 and 2013 - and also advanced to the NCAA Championships as a senior. In his career, Thomas placed at four open tournaments, while also posting multiple wins at the 2012 Midlands Championships and the 2009 Las Vegas Invitational.
Thomas earned his bachelor's degree from Illinois in communication in the spring of 2013.