Class of 2020
Clinton/University of Illinois
Tyrone Byrd was introduced to the sport of wrestling in 2nd Grade (1989) when he brought home a flier for the Big Springs Wrestling Club in Pennsylvania. He expected WWF style ring with ropes, turnbuckles and body slams. Instead, he fell for a sport that was less glamourous, more humbling and more physically demanding.
Tyrone’s family moved from Pennsylvania in 1991 to Clinton, Illinois where he continued wrestling. He wrestled IKWF from 1991-1995 qualifying for the State Tournament from 1992-1994. Tom Leffler, Larry Moody and John Werts coached him during those years. He followed his kid’s club career with two State Runner-up finishes in IESA after qualifying three years. During that time, John Pine and Terry Milton coached him. Finally, Tyrone finished his career at Clinton High School where he wrestled for IWCOA Hall of Fame Wrestling Coach Rob Ledin and Dan Barclay. During his time in high school, he qualified all four years placing three times. In his final two seasons, he would win IHSA State Titles in the 171 lb. class. He capped his senior year with a perfect 43-0 record. Tyrone finished his high school career with 155 wins and only 15 losses. He was a Freestyle Fargo National Qualifier his junior year. He also qualified for state in pole vault as well as receiving All-State honors
as a Running Back for the Clinton Maroons Football Team.
Tyrone went on to wrestle at the University of Illinois for legendary Coach Mark Johnson and Jim Heffernan. He stepped right into the Illinois line-up as a true freshman at 197 lbs. where he would qualify for the NCAA tournament all four years at. He would also go on to Midlands and Big Ten Individual Runner-up finishes. His Illini teams would win two Big Ten Team Titles and three Midlands Team Titles. He was named Team Captain his junior and senior seasons as well as Team MVP in his final year.
As a young coach, Tyrone served as an assistant at Richmond Burton High School, where he helped coach Jordan Blanton to his third state title. He also assisted Rob Ledin at Mahomet-Seymour in 2007. He would then begin his head coaching career at Lincoln-Way East and continue from 2008 thru 2018. During his time at East he
would boast a record of 144 – 83, building a struggling program to a consistently winning program. During this time, he coached 17 State Qualifiers, 9 State Medalist and Kyle Langenderfer to 2 State Championships. In 2018, he would move to Lincoln-Way Central in New Lenox, IL. as their head coach where his children will also attend high school. In addition to wrestling Tyrone also coaches freshmen football.
Tyrone and his wife Jennifer Byrd have two children, Jalen and Briella Byrd, and they all reside in New Lenox,