Styles named new HHS wrestling coach
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Dan Styles has a tough act to follow, but he is up to the challenge.
Styles was named the new head wrestling coach at Hartselle High School on July 7, succeeding Keith Corder, who resigned in April to spend more time with his family.
Hartselle was a big name in Alabama wrestling during Corder's tenure – winning a championship in 2005 after finishing second in 2004. Styles realizes that he has some big shoes to fill.
"Part of it to me is that the school and community each expect success," he said. "That's more of a positive to me than a negative, because people who expect success are more apt to be supportive of their team."
Styles has been at Sparkman High School the past six years, including three years as the school's head wrestling coach. He was an assistant coach on Sparkman's football staff from 1999-2003, and an assistant football coach at Madison Academy for the 2004 season.
Styles, whose Sparkman team finished 12th in the Class 6A state wrestling finals in 2005, is excited about the opportunity to lead the tradition-laden Tigers.
"My little brother played football here at Hartselle and my wife is from here and I did my student teaching here," he said. "I didn't know how long it would take, but I knew that this is where I wanted to end up. This is a great community with great people and a great athletic tradition."
Although the official announcement of Styles' hiring was not made until July 7, the veteran coach has already been hard at work preparing the Tigers for the upcoming season. His team has been participating in summer workouts and mat drills since mid-June.
Styles knows wrestling has a lot of competition from other sports during the school year, and he is always impressed by the boys who devote themselves to the grueling activity.
"Wrestling is a great complimentary sport, especially to football. It takes a special breed to be a wrestler," he said. "I think it's the most physically and mentally demanding sport you can play, and there's only a chosen few who have the ability for it. You never see a wrestler only doing things half-way; it takes a total commitment."
While Hartselle has lost several seniors from last year's state championship team, Styles isn't allowing the team's expectations to be any lower for the upcoming season.
"My main goal is to help each of the kids on my team reach their full potential," he said. "I'm going to hold up my end of the bargain by doing whatever it takes to get that out of them."
Styles is a graduate of Grissom High School and spent some time at both Jacksonville State University and Athens State University working toward his degree.
He currently lives with his wife Josie and their three boys Drew, 8, Garrett, 2, and Will, 1.