Family-Centered Culture Translates to On-Field Success for Women's Soccer
Catching Up with Women's Soccer Coach Ryan
Catching Up with Women's Soccer Coach Greg Ryan
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Michigan bested Detroit, 2-0, to move to a program-best 6-0-0.
U-M head coach Greg Ryan sits down in this Q&A interview (Aug. 6, 2013).
Nkem Ezurike is featured after posting a goal and two assists in U-M's first-round NCAA win over Portland.
Greg Ryan and Wolverine players react to the NCAA second-round win over No. 24 Portland.
Clare Stachel tied the contest with 40 seconds left in regulation, before Nkem Ezurike scored the winner 4:58 into OT, sending U-M to a 2-1 win over Central Michigan in round one of the NCAA Championship.
Michigan 2, Wisconsin 0
Michigan 5, Fordham 0
Greg Ryan is in his eighth season at the helm of the University of Michigan women's soccer program (2008-2015). During his 22-year collegiate coaching career, Ryan owns a record of 260-127-41 (.655) with nine NCAA Tournament appearances and two Final Four berths. In his seven-year tenure in Ann Arbor, Ryan is 75-46-23 (.601), guiding the Wolverines to five-straight winning seasons, three NCAA Championships bids (Elite Eight in 2013, Sweet 16 in 2012) and three top-three finishes in the Big Ten Conference.
Upon being hired in February 2008, Ryan was tasked with rebuilding the program, placing an emphasis on smart, balanced and organized soccer. After two rebuilding years, Ryan and the Wolverines broke through in 2010, finishing with a 10-5-4 record -- equaling the total number of wins from the past two seasons combined -- and qualifying for the NCAA Championships, the program's first bid to the postseason since 2006. Adversity struck the team in 2011, as seven players were lost for the season due to illness or injury. Despite that, the Wolverines still finished with a winning record (9-8-2), achieving back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2003-04.
The real resurgence came during a two-year stretch from 2012-13, as Ryan led Michigan back to national prominence with a combined 34-9-4 record, including a 16-3-3 mark in the Big Ten Conference. The Wolverines finished with a record of 16-5-3 in 2012, making the NCAA Sweet 16 and finishing third in the Big Ten but were even better in 2013, reaching the Elite Eight for the second time in program history on the backs of an 18-4-1 record and second-place finish in the Big Ten. During that period, Michigan was +58 in scoring margin (87 GF, 29 GA) and dominant at home, going 22-2-2 at U-M Soccer Stadium, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in Ryan's third year (2010). Several players flourished under Ryan's guidance, but none more than Canadian striker Nkem Ezurike, who graduated in 2013 as the program's leader in career goals (49) and career points (118). She was a four-time All-Big Ten selection and a semifinalist for the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy.
Following U-M's Elite Eight run in 2013 and the departure of seven key seniors to graduation, Ryan helped the Wolverines exceed expectations with a young, inexperienced team in 2014. Michigan compiled an overall record of 12-5-3, and after being picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches' poll, went on to finish third (8-2-3) in conference play, marking U-M's third straight top-three conference finish.
Ryan came to Michigan after spending the previous three years as the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team. There, he guided Team USA to a 45-1-9 record, including a bronze medal at the 2007 FIFA World Cup and a championship title at the 2005 Algarve Cup. Prior to his appointment as head coach, Ryan served as an assistant with the national team, helping Team USA secure a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Through four separate NCAA coaching assignments, Ryan has compiled a 260-127-41 (.655) record, earned NSCAA Coach of the Year honors in 1991 and picked up a pair of conference coach of the year awards heading up programs at Southern Methodist, Colorado College, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Coming to Ann Arbor marked a return to the Big Ten Conference for Ryan, who spent eight years as the head coach at Wisconsin (1986-93). Ryan led the Badgers to five NCAA appearances, two Final Four berths and one NCAA Championship match, compiling a 108-32-7 record. In 1991, Ryan led the Badgers to an NCAA Finals showdown against Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and the North Carolina Tar Heels, falling short in a 3-1 decision.
Prior to rejoining the collegiate coaching ranks at Michigan, Ryan headed the Colorado College women's program for four seasons (1999-2002), posting a 40-28-6 record with three-straight winning seasons from 2000 to 2002. During the 2000 campaign, Ryan led the Tigers to 13 victories -- their highest total in nearly a decade. Ryan's first taste of coaching came nearly two decades earlier as an assistant coach with the Colorado College men's team in 1983.
In his second head coaching stint, Ryan took the reins at Southern Methodist University, amassing a 37-21-5 record in three seasons (1996-98). He led the Mustangs to a conference title and the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while claiming a pair of WAC Mountain Division Coach of the Year honors his first two seasons at the helm.
Ryan was a four-year letterwinner as a defender at SMU (1975-78), becoming the first Mustang to earn All-America honors when he was a first team selection in his senior season. He went on to play professionally for six seasons in the North American Soccer League (1979-84), suiting up for the Minnesota Kicks, Tulsa Roughnecks, New York Cosmos and Chicago Sting. Ryan won a pair of NASL titles with the Sting in 1981 and 1984 before the league folded.
Minnesota drafted Ryan in 1978, but he played only one game for the Kicks before being traded to the Tulsa Roughnecks. The Roughnecks dealt Ryan to the New York Cosmos during the 1979 season and then, prior to the 1980 campaign, Ryan was again traded, this time to the Chicago Sting. He remained with the Sting for the rest of his professional career, winning a pair of titles and retiring with the league after the 1984 season.
The Dallas, Texas, native returned to SMU after his pro career and earned his B.S. in biology. He also earned his teacher's certification in biology from SMU in 1986.
Ryan is a USSF "A" licensed coach and has conducted numerous U.S. Soccer Coaching Education and Licensing courses during his career.
|Wisconsin||1988||15-3-2||NCAA Final Four|
|Wisconsin||1989||14-5-0||NCAA First Round|
|Wisconsin||1990||16-2-1||NCAA Elite Eight|
|Wisconsin||1993||16-4-0||NCAA Elite Eight|
|Southern Methodist||1997||17-5-1||WAC Champion, NCAA Second Rd.|
|Southern Methodist||1998||9-10-0||WAC Runner-Up|
|Michigan||2010||10-5-4||NCAA First Round|
|Michigan||2012||16-5-3||NCAA Sweet 16|
|Michigan||2013||18-4-1||NCAA Elite Eight|
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