By Greg Bates
GREEN BAY – After a 2-19 start to this season, Green Bay has parted ways with men’s basketball coach Will Ryan, the university announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Ryan, the son of former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, had an overall record of 15-61 and 13-37 in the Horizon League. This was Ryan’s third year at the helm of the Phoenix program.
UW-Green Bay Director of Athletics Josh Moon announced that assistant coach Freddie Owens has been named interim head coach and will lead the team through the remainder of this season. Coincidentally, Owens paid collegiately at Wisconsin under Bo Ryan.
“I want to sincerely thank Will Ryan and his family for their contributions to the men’s basketball program these past three seasons,” said Moon in a press release. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
The eighth coach in Green Bay men’s basketball history, Ryan was hired in June 2020. He signed a six-year contract with a base salary of $175,000.
Ryan has three-plus years remaining on his contract. The university is also still paying former men’s basketball coach Linc Darner, who was fired in May 2020.
Assistant coach Jared Swanson was also let go. De Pere native Brandon Pritzl is now listed on the Green Bay athletics website as the program’s only assistant coach.
It was a rocky third season for Ryan at Green Bay. The Phoenix is currently on an 11-game losing streak and sitting at 1-9 in conference play.
Green Bay’s next game is Thursday at Northern Kentucky.
“UW-Green Bay is committed to continuing its legacy as an outstanding Division I athletics program in the future,” Moon said, “and Phoenix men’s basketball needs to help lead the way as we work to elevate all of our programs and be a shining light for this region and beyond.”
The university will launch a national search for a new head coach for the men’s basketball program immediately. Parker Executive Search has been retained to assist with the search.
As of this posting, The Press Times has yet to hear back from Ryan via text message seeking comment.
By Greg Bates