Daniel Bedoy is blue collar to the bone. That’s why he’ll fit in perfectly coaching wrestling at blue-collar Griffith.
“When the opportunity came to coach at Griffith High School, it was one I couldn’t pass up,” said Bedoy, a former standout wrestler at Bishop Noll.
“I know the success the program had (a decade ago) and I’m looking forward to taking it now and elevating it to another level.”
Bedoy knows all about Griffith’s history. He’s the cousin of four-time state champion Angel Escobedo, two-time state champ Andrae Hernandez and one-time state champ Jose Escobedo, all Griffith stars back in the program’s heyday.
Bedoy is as tough as they come, too. This was a guy who lost his entire junior season at Noll to a knee injury. A year later in 2002, he battled all the way to the 160-pound state title match with ligament damage in his elbow he suffered in a Saturday morning match in Indianapolis.
He ground through four matches during wrestlebacks before losing 2-1 in the state championship match.
Bedoy, a Hammond native who wrestled at Purdue, spent three seasons with the Boilermakers as an assistant coach. He now faces the task of putting Griffith wrestling back on the map.
“Dan Bedoy spent a lot of time in the trenches of coaching, learning what to do and not to do,” Purdue coach Scott Hinkel said. “He is now in a position to utilize his vast experience as a coach at all levels to influence and guide young men to excel on the mat, in the classroom, and in life.”
Bedoy will take over for Travis Walls, who spent 20 years with the program.
The Panthers have had a great feeder system in place with the Griffith Wrestling Club under Joe Reitz, and Bedoy will also be joined by cousin, Michael Escobedo, a two-time state champion at Lake Central, who went on to compete at Michigan State.
Bedoy also has Chris Mares, a valuable assistant coach for many seasons at Griffith, as well as former Griffith grappler, Anthony Zarndt, on his staff.
“Having the opportunity to coach at the Division I level, and in the Big Ten for Purdue, was an amazing experience,” Bedoy said. “I feel blessed to have done things there. It really has prepared me to not only continue coaching, but I also feel equipped to accomplish any task put in front of me.
“Being under Coach Hinkel for the last three years, I felt was really a capstone to my development as an individual. He led with an integrity and work ethic I have not seen elsewhere, and I was fortunate to have been shaped from it.”