Prep Wrestling

Liberty names Joe Williams and Tom Van Dyke co-head wrestling coaches

Former Hawkeye and former Iowa City West Coach take over new program

Former Iowa wrestler Joe Williams smiles to the crowd as he is introduced as the Hawkeyes' honorary captain during a dual meet against Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, January 25, 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Former Iowa wrestler Joe Williams smiles to the crowd as he is introduced as the Hawkeyes' honorary captain during a dual meet against Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, January 25, 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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NORTH LIBERTY — Liberty High School has yet to form a wrestling team but it already has two head coaches.

Liberty Principal Scott Kibby announced Thursday that the school has named Joe Williams and Tom Van Dyke as co-head coaches to lead the Lightning’s first wrestling team.

“Liberty is excited to announce its co-head wrestling coaches,” Kibby said in the news release. “Tom Van Dyke and Joe Williams will lead Liberty wrestling together in its inaugural season.”

Williams, currently of North Liberty, was a three-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American for legendary coach Dan Gable, earning Outstanding Wrestler honors at the 1998 NCAA Championships. Williams, who owns the record for most Midlands Championships with 10, went on to a strong international career, claiming four World Cup titles in freestyle and finished fifth at the 2004 Olympics.

Van Dyke has spent the last five years teaching at Iowa City West High School, assisting West wrestling coach Mark Reiland. Van Dyke also will serve as a full-time Physical Education/Health instructor at Liberty. He held head wrestling coach positions at Red Oak and Griswold, previously. Van Dyke was a state champion heavyweight and all-state football player at Clarke High School.

The first season will be during the 2017-18 school year. Liberty will compete in the Mississippi Valley Conference, beginning in 2018-19.

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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