WISCONSIN (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Will Ryan took over last week as the new Men's Basketball Coach at UW-Green Bay. He spent the last season at Division II Wheeling in West Virginia. In an interview with Spectrum News 1, Ryan discusses what appealed to him about the Green Bay job.
“The opportunity to get back to the division one level was something that has always excited me. But more importantly, home. It’s home. Wisconsin is home to me and my wife. My wife’s from Neenah, right down the road. I have three sons and they’ve never lived in the state of Wisconsin.”
Ryan knows that the fan base could use some energizing.
“I think you have to put a good product on the court. You have to get kids that share your vision, take good shots, play team basketball, play as a unit. That’s going to rub off on fans. They’re going to see that and it’s going to draw them in. That’s what I believe.”
It can't be ignored that Will is Bo Ryan's son. He played for him and has absorbed his father's lessons in coaching.
“A couple things would be, be demanding without being demeaning. That’s one of the biggest things that I’ve learned from him. You’re going to have your good days and bad days as a coach. Your players are going to have the same, based on maybe they were doing poorly in a class or just having a rough day. But making sure that these guys know that you’re all on the same team. Off the court, you’re taking guys under your wing, making sure they take care of their studies, making them feel welcome, open door policy. Those four or five years that you’re in college, those are some of the most important years, if not the most important years of your life. There’s so much growth and development both on and off the court. You have to be there for the kids and show them that you care.”
It is always challenging to take over a program. Even more so now as Ryan tries to build connections with his players without face-to-face contact because of the pandemic.
“With Zoom calls and video conferencing, lot of texting, cell calls. It’s just unchartered territory. We’re trying to get through it the best we can.”