Olmsted Falls High School head football coach Jim Ryan has announced he will retire from his head football coaching position after 25 years. Wanting to spend more time with family and take a step back from the program as head coach, Ryan stated it is time for another person to begin a new era within the Bulldogs football program.
“I feel very blessed, fortunate and proud to have served as the head football coach at Olmsted Falls High School for 25 years,” Ryan said. “I would like to thank the Olmsted Falls City School District for allowing me to serve the district as the head football coach for the past 25 years. The time is right to step aside and allow another coach the opportunity to guide this program for years to come.
“The Olmsted Falls community is a special place with an extremely supportive school administration, staff, parents and student body,” he added. “The dedication of our loyal assistant football coaches and players has been the primary reason for establishing our great tradition and success over the years.”
Ryan graduated from Olmsted Falls High School in 1976 and from Findlay College in 1980 with a degree in accounting and a minor in education. He earned his master’s degree in education at Cleveland State University. While at Findlay College, Ryan lettered three years in football, starting at linebacker on the 1979 national championship team. He was also recognized as first team HBC and District 22 selection at linebacker. He was nominated as an academic All-American following his senior year. In addition, Ryan was a four-year letterman as an infielder on the Oilers’ baseball team. In October 2008, Ryan was inducted into the University of Findlay’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
His coaching and teaching career began in 1980 at North Olmsted High School. While at North Olmsted, he taught business and was the defensive coordinator on the football staff and the head girls basketball coach.
In 1982, Ryan returned to his high school alma mater to teach and has coached a number of sports, including girls fastpitch softball, girls basketball, baseball, middle school wrestling and football. In 1988, he was hired as the head football coach, compiling a 180-92 win-loss record through the 2012 season. Ryan’s teams have qualified for the OHSAA state playoffs 11 times (1995, 1996, 1999-2003, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011) and have been Southwestern Conference champions on seven occasions (1988, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2010). The Bulldogs were Division II state champions in 2000 and advanced to the state semifinals in 2002 and the regional finals in 2010.
Ryan is active in the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association (GCFCA), having served as president (1994-1995) and league representative (1992-2010). He headed the Golden Deeds Awards for 15 years and is currently the association’s treasurer. He has been an assistant in the GCFCA East-West All-Star game three times (1990, 1994, 1999) and served as the head coach in 1992. He has been named the GCFCA Coach of the Year twice (1999 and 2000). In spring 2011, Ryan was honored with the GCFCA Golden Deeds Award.
In 1999 and 2005, he was selected to serve on the Big 33 (Ohio versus Pennsylvania All-Star game) coaching staff, and in 2008 was Ohio’s head coach. In addition, Ryan serves on the board of directors for the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA), representing Region 3.
Ryan has also been active in the Olmsted Falls Education Association, serving as president from 1998-2000 and in 2009.
“Olmsted Falls has been truly fortunate to have Jim at the helm of our football program for the past 25 years,” Olmsted Falls schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Hoadley said. “On behalf of the district, I want to extend our sincere thanks to Jim for his many years of dedication to our student-athletes.
“Over the course of his coaching career, Jim has inspired countless youth to be the best that they can be – both on and off the field,” Hoadley added. “He leaves behind him a lasting positive impact on his athletes, on Olmsted Falls High School and on our local community, and he will be greatly missed.”
Olmsted Falls High School athletic director Rob Coxon stated, “Jim had a tremendously successful coaching career at Olmsted Falls High School. For the past 25 years, his knowledge and passion for football have contributed to his many successes and the successes of his student-athletes. Jim helped mold successful student-athletes through an unwavering work ethic and by surrounding himself with quality coaches. From the seven conference championships to the state championship journey in 2000, his program has brought the community together on several special occasions. For that, we are all grateful. We will miss Jim and we certainly wish him well.”
Ryan and his wife of 33 years, Terry (nee Presnell), have two children, Meaghan (31), a graduate of Cleveland State University, and Ben (26), a Kent State University graduate.
Article submitted by Olmsted Falls High School