Denied a request for a one-year leave of absence, Dan Taylor has resigned as head wrestling coach at Sandpoint High School.
Taylor, who built the powerhouse program at Sandpoint, requested the leave so he could watch his son, Zac, in his final season at the University of Minnesota. Zac was a three-time state champ at Sandpoint.
Taylor’s request was denied be cause he’s a “walk-on” coach and not a teacher. Taylor owns an insurance business in Sandpoint.
Although Taylor is largely considered one of the top coaches in Idaho, he had a strained working relationship with Sandpoint athletic director Jack Dyck and wasn’t well liked in the coaching ranks because of his brash style.
“I haven’t been able to partake much in (Zac’s) college career because of (coaching), which I don’t regret,” Taylor said. “It’s hard to let go after 13 years.”
Taylor started coaching at Sandpoint as a volunteer assistant in 1984. He started the Top Dogs youth program, which has fed several state champions to his high school team, in 1985.
He took over as head coach in 1992. His teams won three straight State A-1 championships before being dethroned last winter. The Bulldogs finished second last year.
Sandpoint has won 32 straight dual matches. Taylor’s absence means he won’t be able to finish coaching senior-to-be Jared Lawrence, ranked No. 1 in the nation last year at 119 pounds. Lawrence will be seeking a fourth straight state championship.