Being around student athletes is nothing new for Joe Wyant.
Eastwood's new head wrestling coach has been around wrestling for 35 years, either as a head coach or as an assistant. Wyant, 56, has also coached football and softball at Eastwood and Lakota.
"I enjoy sports," he said. "I was a head coach in three sports at one time during a five-year period at Lakota."
Wyant takes over Eastwood's wrestling program after serving as Ralph Cubberly's assistant for the past seven years. Cubberly, who coached the Eagles for the past 20 years, got a job as a teacher and coach at Defiance High School. He did not teach in the Eastwood School District.
Earlier this month, the Eagle Wrestling Club hosted a "thank you and good luck" picnic to honor Cubberly at the home of Todd and Karen Schling on Strail Road.
Wyant has also been Eastwood's football defensive coordinator for the past four years under Jerry Rutherford, and he has coached the Eagles' softball team for two years.
"I just enjoy coaching and I know a lot of the community asked me to step in and take over for Ralph," Wyant said.
"I enjoy the kids there and I just think it's a great place to coach. The administration has been very good to me. All of the coaches I work with have been real supportive. We have a very good wrestling club that has been very supportive of me stepping in."
Prior to coming to Eastwood, Wyant was the head wrestling coach at Lakota for six years, and he spent the previous 20 years as an assistant under former Raiders coach Bob Young.
Wyant won one Suburban Lakes League title and finished second twice as the head coach at Lakota, and he had more than 30 state qualifiers. Wyant, a Lakota grad who wrestled four years there, was also the Raiders' softball coach for 10 years.
He said taking over for Cubberly, who built Eastwood into one of the top Division II programs in the state, should be a smooth transition. Wyant has been involved in more than 450 dual-meet wins during his career.
"I've been fortunate being under two very good head coaches," he said. "Bob Young was very, very successful. We won the SLL 11 times under Young and we were runners-up probably five times, and Young had something like 70 state placers.
"It will be the same thing (at Eastwood). As with Bob, Ralph and I worked very closely together. We agreed on most things, so it's not going to be a huge change."
Eastwood captured five straight SLL titles under Cubberly before placing second behind Elmwood last season.
"Our expectations will never change because of coach Cubberly being gone," Wyant said. "Our goal every year is to win the league. We have a nucleus of five or six very good wrestlers coming back. The young kids have to step up for us to be successful. We graduated quite a few, but we have five or six for a good nucleus. We always will try to be a league champion and try to qualify as many as we can for state."