Kyle grew up in Ithaca, NY where his love of wrestling began when he first stepped on a mat at age 4. Kyle is the oldest of three children and the sport of wrestling runs deep within the Dake family. Bob Dake, Kyle’s grandfather, began the wrestling program at the Lansing school district, where Kyle would eventually become a two time New York State Champion. Doug Dake, Kyle’s father took over for the program, and was Kyle’s coach from the time he stepped on the mat for the first time, until the time he stepped off the mat to begin his collegiate career.
Kyle began his freshman year at Cornell University with huge aspirations and goals. With belief in his work ethic and discipline he knew he could reach his goal of becoming a four time NCAA champion, but with the mindset of “you can’t win four before you win one.” As a true freshman, Kyle won his first NCAA title at 141 lbs. with just two losses in the season. He was also named IVY League, EIWA, and Intermat Wrestling’s Freshman of the Year. After his first season Kyle became known as “Kid Dynamite,” for his outstanding season and energetic personality.
His sophomore year, Kyle, moved up a weight class to 149 lbs. He repeated his National Champion campaign, winning his second consecutive title that season, and giving up only 1 point in the NCAA tournament. Kyle was named the EIWA Wrestler of the Year, Team MVP, and First Team All-IVY.
Following the pattern, and his growth spurts, Kyle moved up a weight class to 157 lbs. his junior year. Kyle had an undefeated season with a 35-0 record, winning the NCAA championships, and again only surrendering 1 point in the NCAA tournament. However, this year was different. With his win Kyle became the first ever 3x NCAA Champion at 3 different weight classes. He was named Team MVP and EIWA Wrestler of the Year.
With Kyle’s success, and his college career coming quickly to an end, his goals started to expand. He realized his ultimate goal is to wrestle for the United States of America and win an Olympic gold medal. After his junior season Kyle took a shot at this dream, by wrestling in the 2012 Olympic Team Trials. Kyle ended up coming in third at the tournament, but traveled with the team to London as a training partner and an alternate.
Finally, entering his senior year of college, Kyle had a decision to make. Stay at 157 lbs., or try to make history yet again, and go up one more weight class to 165 lbs.? Kyle decided to challenge himself, and bring some attention to the sport, by moving up the weight class. On March 23, 2013, Kyle became the first ever 4x NCAA Champion at four different weight classes by defeating one of the most prolific scorers of all time, David Taylor. He was undefeated with a perfect 37-0 record, was the EIWA Wrestler of the Year, IVY League Wrestler of the Year, and the 2013 Hodge Trophy recipient. Kyle was also named the Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAAs and led the nation in falls that season.
Without the unwavering support of Kyle’s coaching staff and his family he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what he did. Rob Koll, Jeremy Spates, Damion Hahn, Mike Grey, Matt Azevedo, and Jordan Leen all played a role in his success by offering guidance both on and off the mat. Kyle’s mom and dad, Jodi and Doug Dake, always encouraged him to follow his dreams and told him he could do anything he put his mind to. Kyle’s brother and sister, Corey and Kristin Dake, and extended family were right behind his parents as his number one cheering squad. Kyle knows it was a team effort in making history in the sport of wrestling, and is grateful for everyone who helped him along the way.
Since graduating from Cornell University in 2013 Kyle has been chasing his dreams of becoming a World Champion and Olympic Champion. In 2016 he placed second at the Olympic Team trials, and is now training harder than ever with his sites on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Outside of wrestling, you can find Kyle spending time with his friends and family. He married his high-school sweet heart in 2016, and they are now the proud dog parents of two golden retrievers, Champ and Mia. Kyle spends a lot of his time outside wrestling reading and learning anything and everything about how to keep the body, mind, and spirit healthy. He hopes to inspire, coach, and educate people to excel in all facets of life long after he is done competing.
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