Three-time National Qualifier
2004-05: Qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third time in his career...Went 0-2 at the NCAA Championships, losing to No. 7 Ryan Bader and No. 10 Jerry Rinaldi...Defeated the No. 2 seed, Nate Moore of Purdue, to place fifth at the Big Ten Championships...Upset No. 12 Phil Davis of Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament... Went 5-3 in Big Ten dual competition...Upset No. 11 Joel Flaggert of Oklahoma in overtime to help the Illini advance to the semifinals of the Cliff Keen National Duals...Upset No. 8 Ryan Flaherty of Wisconsin in a dual...Placed sixth at the 2004 Midlands Tournament, where the Illini took home their second straight team title...Upset No. 4 Sean Stender of Northern Iowa to win the UNI Open at 197 pounds...Went 1-2 at the Missouri Open.
2003-04: Redshirted the 2004 season.
2002-03: Qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second straight year ... Went 1-2 at the NCAA Championships, upsetting No. 17 Chris Jones of Drexel ... Lost NCAA matches to No. 2 Muhammed Lawal of Oklahoma State and No. 5 David Shunamon of Edinboro ... Placed seventh at the 2003 Big Ten Championships, winning his qualifying match over Matt Delguyd of Northwestern ... Highest ranking was 16th by Amateur Wrestling News and W.I.N. Magazine ... Big Ten Dual Record was 4-3 ... Took second-place at the Las Vegas Invitational, falling to #5 Anton Talamantes in finals, who he later beat in the conference dual ... Placed fifth at the season-opening Missouri Open ... Upset then-ranked #9 Anton Talamantes, 3-2, at dual on Feb. 13 and #20 David Schenk of Cal-Poly, 4-2 at Las Vegas Invite ... Had dual-winning bout over Ryan Cummins of Penn State to lead the team to a third-place finish at the Virginia Duals ... Had a 3-7 record vs. ranked opponents this season.
2001-02: Qualified for first career NCAA tournament as a true freshman after finishing seventh with three wins at Big Ten Championships ... Went 1-2 at the NCAAs ... Finished the dual season with a 15-10 overall record with one fall (9-3 at 184, 6-7 with one fall at 197) ... Was one of only 14 true freshmen to qualify for nationals ... Went 1-7 in Big Ten duals, with his one win coming in an upset of No. 17 Pat DeGain of Indiana, 10-4 ... Started first career match at 184 against Eastern Illinois on December 8 ... Moved into 197 pounds at Oregon Classic on Jan. 11 ... Came in first place in frosh/soph division at Missouri Open ... Was only true freshman starter on team ... Earned first career Varsity "I" Award.
HIGH SCHOOL: Two-time Illinois State Champion ... Won nine letters in high school ... Rushed for 1200 yards in football ... Had a winning streak of 73 matches in route to two state wrestling titles ... 153-15 record in high school with 94 career pins ... Three-time all conference, all-state, regional and sectional champion in wrestling ... Two-time all conference, all-state, and all-area football player ... Clinton High School wrestling team runner up in 2000 and third place in 2001 ... Football team made playoffs in 2001.
PERSONAL: Born on July 11, 1982 ... Favorite athlete is Joe Williams because he wins when people root against him ... Wants to coach a team after college ... High School coaches Rob Ledin and Dan Barclay influenced athletic career ... Fighting Illini hero is Ernest Benion ... Majoring in secondary education ... Engaged to marry Illini graduate Jennifer Vandervort.
BYRD'S CAREER RECORD YEAR W L F Big Ten NCAA 2001-02 19 14 1 7th DNP 2002-03 22 13 0 7th DNP 2004-05 23 12 0 5th DNP Total 64 39 1