GREEN BAY – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) Director of Athletics Charles Guthrie has named Will Ryan as the head coach of the men’s basketball program.
Ryan and the university have reached an agreement in principle, with details of the final contract still being worked out.
“What a great day for UWGB and Green Bay men’s basketball,” said Guthrie. “Hiring leaders is about getting the right fit at the right time, and I have no doubt Coach Ryan is the right person to lead our program today and into the future. Will’s overall body of work as a collegiate coach has been remarkable, and I believe that experience will serve us well as he embarks on his tenure at Green Bay.”
Ryan, the oldest son of college basketball hall of famer and former University of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan, arrives in Green Bay after one season at Wheeling University in West Virginia.
“We are thrilled to have Will Ryan be the next coach to lead our program,” said Michael Alexander, UWGB chancellor. “His passion for the game and our community is evident. I’m excited to see what he accomplishes.”
Ryan took a team picked last in its conference to a fifth-place finish in 2019-20.
He took over at Wheeling last July with only five players on the current roster at the time.
“I’m excited to be the next head coach at Green Bay,” Ryan said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to come back to my home state of Wisconsin and join a great university. I look forward to building a program with a group of hard-working student-athletes who are proud to represent Green Bay.”
Ryan, a Platteville-native who won two national championships as a player for the Pioneers while his father was head coach, has more than 15 combined years as a Division I assistant.
Before his year at Wheeling, Ryan was the head assistant coach at Ohio University and an assistant coach at North Dakota State University (NDSU).
While at NDSU, he helped lead the Bison to two NCAA tournaments and an upset win over No. 5 seed Oklahoma in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Ryan also spent five seasons with the Badgers as a video coordinator and as the director of basketball operations, joining the program in 2002-03 as a volunteer assistant.
He also served as head coach for the Wisconsin Swing AAU team in 2005.
Ryan graduated from UW-Milwaukee in December 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in educational studies and youth leadership.
He played for Bruce Pearl, the current head coach at Auburn University, during his senior season.
Will and his wife, Emily, have three sons – Owen, Liam and Callen.
“I want to thank Chancellor Michael Alexander and Athletic Director Charles Guthrie for this opportunity,” Ryan said. “Their passion for the university is infectious. I’m excited to join the Phoenix family.”
Ryan’s first official game as head coach of the Phoenix will be Nov. 10 at Oklahoma State, with his first home game coming Saturday, Nov. 14, against Montana State.