DES MOINES - A key fixture inside the Webster City wrestling family for 16 years, Jim Dyer received perhaps the best going away present imaginable in front of a sell-out crowd at Wells Fargo Arena Saturday night prior to the start of the state finals.
Dyer, who will retire from coaching and teaching at the end of this school year, was named the state's Junior High Coach of the Year by the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association. He and his wife, Sondra, were on hand to accept his award.
"It's quite the honor," Dyer, an industrial technology teacher for 35 years, said. "I've loved doing this the whole way through."
DFJ photo by Britt Kudla
Jim Dyer and his wife, Sondra, pose with his Iowa Junior High Coach of the Year award prior to the start of the state finals Saturday night in Des Moines.
He follows in the footsteps of his brother, Bob, who twice received statewide coach of the year honors during his nearly three-decade run at Glenwood. Bob Dyer, who retired in 2006, was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012.
"My brother and I were talking about that last night ... he's still one up on me," Jim Dyer said with a chuckle."
Webster City head coach Ted Larson nominated Dyer for the award and he says his job has been easier over the years because of the work that Dyer has done with Lynx wrestlers before they reach the high school level.
"He's been a leader and just a huge part of this program and the success that it's had," Larson said. "He gets these guys started and puts work ethic into them before they get to high school."
Dyer has tutored quite an arsenal of budding wrestling stars over the years, but he says it's those kids that were still trying to find their way on the mat that gave him the most enjoyment.
"The biggest thrill I get is when you have a kid that hasn't won a match all year and all of a sudden wins one," Dyer said. "I can get more rewards from that kid who has struggled ... it's a huge thrill."
Dyer also did many of the little things for the program that may have gone unnoticed. He attended some of the offseason camps with the team, helped out with summer construction projects, ran the clock and scoreboard at home meets and was the familiar voice you heard over the loudspeaker at tournaments and duals.
"Jim did so many things I never even had to ask him to do," Larson said. "I didn't have to worry about anything. He's just been a leader by example."