Memphis, Tenn., Dec. 29, 2015 – Washington University in St. Louis defensive coordinator Jim Ryan has been named the head football coach at Rhodes College.
Ryan spent the past eight seasons at WashU, including the last four as defensive coordinator. He also spent two years as special teams coordinator, and was the Bears' recruiting coordinator and assistant strength and conditioning coach.
"I've been blessed to have spent the past eight seasons at WashU," said Ryan. "Our administration, faculty, coaching staff, support staff, and student-athletes have been tremendous to work with on a daily basis. Specifically, Larry Kindbom, John Schael, and Josh Whitman have served as tremendous mentors and role models for me. They have helped me to learn and grow. As me and my family begin the next chapter in our lives, we will always remember WashU with a great deal of fondness."
Ryan was named the 2015 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Assistant Coach of the Year. He helped guide WashU to a 6-4 record in 2015. The Bears finished as co-champions of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and tied for fourth in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA).
"Rhodes College made a great hire in Jim Ryan and his wife Laura. Jim is so deserving of the opportunity to lead such a great program. He is more than just a good coach on the field; he will help in the development of his players beyond the game.," said WashU head coach Larry Kindbom. "We are thankful to have been the recipients of their gifts over the last eight years. On behalf of the players, coaches, and the WashU community, we wish them the best in their challenges ahead."
With Ryan on the sideline for the past eight seasons, WashU posted a 45-36 (.556) overall record and won three UAA Championships (2012, 2013, 2015) and made an NCAA playoff appearance in 2013.
Ryan had overwhelming success in his first season as the defensive coordinator in 2012, finishing 25th in NCAA Division III in pass efficiency defense allowing just eight passing touchdowns. The Bears also finished 25th in overall pass defense and 52nd in total defense.
In 2013, the Bears posted an 8-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Playoffs for the second time in school history. The Bears ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in scoring defense, allowing 11.5 points per game.
In his first season as the special teams coordinator in 2010, the Bears' punt unit led the UAA and was second in NCAA Division III with a 37.78 average. In 2011, the Bears were second in the UAA and 31st in Division III (34.08).
Rhodes finished with a 4-6 overall record in 2015 and finished seventh in the SAA. Ryan replaces Dan Gritti, who is now the head coach at Millikin University.