After graduating, he became a teacher and coach at Niles North High School. During his 12 years at Niles North, his dedication to his students was most recognizable when he was awarded Teacher of the Year honors in 2008. He transcended his title of teacher beyond the classroom in helping students overcome difficulties in life’s challenges. One of Dan’s biggest challenges came in August of 2012 when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He fought a brave fight, best exemplified by his willingness to remain in the classroom and coach, all during his treatments. On September 9, 2013, Dan’s battle ended peacefully at home. It’s because of Dan’s dedication to education that the Dan Horyn Scholarship Fund has been established. A scholarship will be awarded to a male and female track or cross-country student-athlete that best exemplifies Dan’s love of life and commitment to others.
He will be remembered most for his compassion, integrity, optimism, strength and love for other people. Dan was a hard-working student-athlete at West Chicago Community High School, where he graduated in 1997. His dedication to hard work in the classroom and to the sports of track and cross-country won him many awards in both areas. He culminated his senior year by receiving all-state honors, taking 2nd place at the state championship in the mile and being named valedictorian. Dan received his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Illinois, while competing in track and cross-country.