UPDATE 4/6/13: So close but yet so far. Bo Ryan’s quest for a National Championship will have to wait another year. After Wisconsin’s last-second heave bounced away, the Wildcats stormed into Monday’s championship game with a 74-73 victory to set up a showdown of the lowest-seeded finalists in NCAA tournament history. We feel your pain Coach Ryan. Congratulations on another great season.
Bo Ryan finally made it to the Final Four. Ryan has been the head coach at the University of Wisconsin for the past 13 year and have reached the NCAA tournament every year. The Chester native has finally made it to college basketball’s biggest stage. And it all started on the playground courts of Chester. Ryan was a star guard at Chester High then went on to coach at Brookhaven Junior High School. The rest is college basketball history..
Ryan’s coaching career began in 1972 at Brookhaven Junior High School in Delaware County where for one year he worked as a history teacher and basketball head coach. After graduating from Wilkes University, Ryan began graduate work at Villanova University. After working at the Dominican College of Racine, Ryan became head coach at Sun Valley High School in Aston, Pennsylvania in 1974, where he was named conference coach of the year in 1976. His success at Dominic College and Sun Valley led to a job as assistant head coach at the University of Wisconsin–Madison under head coaches Bill Cofield and Steve Yoder from 1976 to 1984.
Ryan began playing basketball at a very young age. His father, Butch Ryan, coached basketball to under-privileged children in Chester, Pennsylvania. Butch taught him the skills to be a successful point guard, generally the position of the on-court team leader. He became a star basketball player, leading his high school team to a 25–1 record in his senior year. In addition to basketball, Ryan was a high school quarterback. The center snapping him the ball was Ted Cottrell, who later served as a defensive coach and coordinator for a number of teams in the NFL. Ryan lettered in football, basketball and baseball, and was president of his class. After high school, Ryan starred as a point guard at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. His love for the game drove him to remain involved with the sport, choosing to delve into the coaching profession.