Senior Associate Athletics Director Marc Ryan has been a member of the University of Minnesota Athletics staff since 1989.
A member of both the athletics directors’ executive team and senior management team, Ryan serves as the sport administrator for 11 Golden Gopher teams: men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s indoor track & field, women’s indoor track & field, men’s gymnastics, women’s gymnastics, men’s outdoor track & field, women’s outdoor track & field and softball. He also serves as the director of the Gopher Graduation Program, an initiative to help former Gopher student-athletes return to the U of M and complete their undergraduate degrees, and the Gopher Athletics Internship Program. In addition, Ryan is a member of the Gopher Athletics Drug & Alcohol Review Board and the liaison to U of M Housing where he coordinates the program’s reserved on-campus residence hall space for all 25 sports.
Ryan continues to represent the University of Minnesota on a number of local and national committees/organizations. He has been a member of the Big Ten Conference Sports Management Committee (SMC) since 2005 where he serves as the liaison to the league’s men’s swimming coaches. He also is a member of the Big Ten’s Governance Task Force. Ryan was a member of the Meet Minneapolis Board of Directors where he served the maximum of two consecutive two year terms (2009-2013). During that time he also was a member of the Meet Minneapolis Local Organizing Committee (MMLOC) that has a mission to attract and bring major sports and special events to the Twin Cities, as well as the Hotel Improvement Task Force Committee. Ryan also served a four-year term (2008-12) as a member of the NCAA Cross Country/Track Field Committee. He served as the committee chair for the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at Boise, Idaho.
As the football sport administrator from 2004-12, Ryan was a member of the four-person search committee whose work culminated with the hiring of Gopher Football Coach Jerry Kill. During that time, Ryan served as the primary day-to-day administrative liaison to the football staff. He also was the U of M’s bowl committee planning director for five bowl game appearances – the 2004 and 2005 Music City Bowls in Nashville, Tenn., and the 2006, 2008 and 2009 Insight Bowls in Tempe, Ariz. In addition, Ryan negotiated and finalized the Gophers’ non-conference football scheduling agreements.
Ryan served as Associate Athletics Director for Sport Administration and Championships from 2004-10. In that role he served as the primary sport administrator for nine Golden Gopher teams: football, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. He also coordinated the bid preparation, planning and implementation for all NCAA, Big Ten and WCHA Championships where the University of Minnesota served as the host institution. In all, he served as the tournament director for 33 championship events, including the 2003 (regional), 2006 (regional) and 2009 (1st/2nd rounds) NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships held at the Metrodome, the 2005, 2009 and 2010 NCAA Men’s Hockey Regionals, the 2004, 2005 and 2007 NCAA Women’s Basketball 1st/2nd rounds at Williams Arena, and the 2002 and 2011 NCAA Men’s Hockey Frozen Fours at the Xcel Energy Center. He also served as the media coordinator for the 2001 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four at the Metrodome.
In 2006 Ryan worked alongside then AD Joel Maturi to bring the leadership of the “M” Club within the U of M Athletics Department for the first time in history. Shortly thereafter Ryan coordinated the search process which culminated with the hiring of former Gopher football student-athlete George Adzick as the first full-time director of the “M” Club. The move has resulted in a dramatic increase in dues paying members and a renewed sense of commitment and engagement with Gopher letterwinners.
Ryan began his career at the U of M as an assistant sports information director for the Men’s Athletics Department in 1989 under Hall of Fame Gopher SID Bob Peterson. When Peterson retired in 1994, Ryan took over as the Director of Media Relations for the Gophers. During his tenure, Ryan received 22 awards for excellence in publications from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He was elevated to Assistant Athletics Director for External Relations in 1999 where he had direct oversight over the Gophers’ media relations, gophersports.com, marketing/sales, photography/video and spirit group units.
Before coming to the U of M, Ryan was Assistant Sports Information Director at Villanova University from 1987-89. He also served as Sports Information Director, Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track Coach at Macalester College from 1985-87. He has also been fortunate to work national and international events through the United States Olympic Committee. The USOC selected him to work on the media relations staffs at the 1987 (Raleigh-Durham, NC), 1990 (Twin Cities) and 1991 (Los Angeles) U.S. Olympic Festivals. USA Basketball also selected him for their media relations staff for the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle where he was able to work with USA Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski from Duke and Assistant Coach Jim Boeheim from Syracuse. Following those experiences, the USOC selected him to serve on its staff at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, where he coordinated the media relations efforts for the USA men’s and women’s track & field teams, and the men’s soccer team.
A graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, Ryan was a two-time All-American and a member of nine conference championship teams in cross country and track & field during his career for the Dragons. He was inducted into the MSUM Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. A lifetime member of the University of Minnesota’s Alumni Association, Ryan earned his master’s degree in sports management from the U of M.
Ryan also served as the director of the Bill Crumley Memorial Classic from 2005-2012 an annual golf/dinner/silent auction event held in honor of the late Bill Crumley, a former Gopher Athletics staff member. Proceeds from the event went to the Bill Crumley Endowed Scholarship Fund which provides a scholarship for a Gopher student-athlete who has lost a parent. Net proceeds from the eight-year event exceeded $175,000. Visit Saint Paul bestowed its “Hometown Hero” award upon Ryan for his efforts with the 2011 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four. The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Coaches also named him as the North Central Regional Administrator of the Year in 2008. In 2009 the Lake Conference bestowed upon him its Distinguished Alumni Award.
A native of Rosemount, Minn, Ryan has run four marathons: the Twin Cities Marathon twice, along with Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth and the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996. He lives in Apple Valley with his wife, Dianne, a former Gopher women’s Sports Information Director (1991-96), and their three children: Sean, and twins Keara and Kyle.
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