The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 14, 2014

Former Joplin coach taking helm at Grove

Joplin Memorial grad also played in NFL

GROVE, Okla. — Mike Loyd, an all-state quarterback from Joplin who went on to play in the NFL, has been hired to be the head coach of the Grove Ridgerunners. Loyd also coached at Joplin High School in the 1990s.

“We were blessed with many qualified candidates for this position, but we are certain Coach Loyd is the right man for the job,” Grove High School athletics director Will Jones said in a news release. “He has dedicated a significant part of his life to coaching young men at the high school level. He also has a clear understanding of the mission of Grove Public Schools as it pertains to football, academics and the total development of our students ... His knowledge and experience will undoubtedly benefit our students, athletic department and school.”

Loyd graduated from Joplin Memorial High School in 1974 and went on to play football at Kansas, Tulsa and Missouri Southern. He played for the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals for two seasons, starting one game at quarterback in 1980.

In 19 years as an Oklahoma head football coach, Loyd’s teams compiled more than 160 wins and made 13 consecutive playoff appearances.

During his five-year tenure as the head coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, the Norsemen finished 47-7 with a national championship and two runner-up finishes. He has been named the head coach of various all-star games and was named district coach of the year multiple times. Loyd served as the offensive coordinator in the Texas versus the Nation College All-Star game in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Loyd coached at Joplin High from 1996-97, finishing 5-5 both seasons. In 1997, the Eagles shared the Ozark Conference title with Glendale and Hillcrest.

He has accumulated more than 200 wins in 25-plus years as a head coach. Most recently, Loyd was the head coach at Ponte Vedra High School in Florida. He directed Ponte Vedra to undefeated district championships in 2011 and 2012.

Loyd replaces Dennis Millican as Grove’s head coach. Millican coached the Ridgerunners for the past nine seasons.

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