Despite growing up in the shadow of Notre Dame football, Ryan was introduced to Division III at a young age. His father was a Wabash College graduate, and Ryan still remembers once being sandwiched in the bleachers by a small, yet boisterous crowd in the visitors' section at Albion College in Michigan. That was nearly 30 years ago; amid proud and energetic fans, it was his first encounter with D-III football.
Ryan followed his dad's footsteps, enrolling at Wabash and there cultivating his early efforts in journalism as a writer, editor and photographer. Those efforts were accelerated after his career as a cross country and track athlete was ended by recurring leg injuries. He graduated in 2000 and went on to edit and write at metropolitan newspapers in Indiana and Virginia, finally deciding to settle down in Southwest Virginia with his wife, a Ferrum alumna. In recent years, Ryan has earned a master's degree from Virginia Tech and has won state awards for both his reporting and headline writing. He currently works full time as editor of Smith Mountain Laker magazine.
Ryan is D3football.com's Senior Editor and was its National Columnist in 2014 and 2015. He was the Around the Mid-Atlantic Columnist from 2007 to 2011; has worked on all but one of the preseason Kickoff publications; has done game-day writing and photography and the pregame broadcast at the championship Stagg Bowl in Salem for almost a decade; and has taken photos at the Final Four for D3hoops.com. He was also on the selection staff for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award.
Traveling around the East Coast has, in the past decade, connected him with scores of fans, players and coaches. He's also been in his native Indiana to see the Monon Bell rivalry game between Wabash and DePauw almost every November since 1996. But no matter where he's landed on a given Saturday, the fact that programs at this level emphasize the "student" as well as the "athlete" makes him appreciate what he does and why these players take the field.
Follow him on Twitter: @NewsTipps