The New Face of Women's Volleyball
Born in Inglewood, Calif., and raised in El Segundo, Calif., Ryan picked up the sport of volleyball at age 11 and attended a local El Segundo high school where she was recruited by the famed former SMC women's volleyball coach, Ms. Elaine Roque.
Playing modestly for the team under the tenure of Coach Roque during her freshman year at SMC, she decided to kick it into "hyper-gear" the following season.
"I kept at it by my sophomore year," she said with a smile. "But, luckily I worked my tail off and got a scholarship to play at Cal State Dominguez Hills."
After finishing her career at Dominguez Hills and receiving a bachelor's degree in physical education and coaching, she continued her education at Azusa Pacific University where she enrolled in the graduate program earning a degree in biology and a second degree in physical education.
While in the process of completing her education at Azusa Pacific, Ryan started out as a physical education teacher and then the athletic director at YULA Girls High School from 1998-2001, later becoming the current athletic director of Brentwood School, located in the heart of Brentwood, Calif.
Now, the head coach of the women's volleyball program at SMC, Ryan will bring her 16 years of expertise and coaching in the sport to be the new forefront in their success.
When asked what she plans to bring to the program, she brazenly responds with as much focus and seriousness as she had during her playing days.
"I have a lot of passion for the sport, and as an alumna I want to restore the [program] to what it used to be like," said Ryan. "I know that over the years there have been a lot of coaches who would coach for two or three years, but I'm in it for the long haul."
She continued, "I want to restore the team to the way it was when I was here. It was a serious program and well-known from word to mouth."
Ryan, who took over the head coaching position this past February, expects this year to be the coming out party for the sport and for the team.
"How the sport has grown in popularity, especially because of the fantastic play of both the men's and women's teams during these past Olympic Games, is truly amazing," she said. "There is no doubt in my mind that Misty May-Treanor is the greatest volleyball player ever and because of her heroic play along with Kerri Walsh, the sports has grown enormously."
With the new season and its first home game coming up next week, Coach Ryan is hoping to build a stronger fan base than it has had in the last couple of years.
"We're hoping this season could be a change of direction and with more people supporting us, it will only build our confidence even more so. Having a great group of girls this year, 11 strong, who really care about the team and each other, really make all the difference."
Aside from being a teacher, athletic director and a coach, she also has a life filled with fun and excitement like any other person.