(WFRV) – A new era of Green Bay Phoenix basketball has arrived as Will Ryan was introduced as their next head basketball coach on Thursday.
“Will is a rising star. He’s a star now, and we’re just excited to have him here in the Green Bay family,” said athletic director Charles Guthrie.
“This is truly a dream come true, and I’m beyond excited to become your next head basketball coach,” said Will Ryan.
Live Report: Will Ryan introduced as head coach
Ryan comes to Green Bay after one year at Wheeling University in West Virginia. He’s not new to the state of Wisconsin in any way, though. Will’s father, Bo, is one of the most successful basketball coaches in Wisconsin history. Having led the Badgers to 14 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, and a pair of Final Fours in 2014 and 2015.
The younger Ryan spent five seasons in Madison with his dad as the Badgers video coordinator and director of basketball operations before becoming an assistant coach elsewhere.
Will Ryan discusses emotional return home
On Thursday, the elder Ryan had a unique comparison to another famous basketball family, the Bennett’s, when talking about Will earning his chance as a head coach at Green Bay. Not just because of his last name, either.
“When his dad took another job, and he gets put into a position to take over, who’s to say that’s not earned. He earned that. If you’ve been in the environment, and you’ve had the experiences, why not?”
While Phoenix fans can dream Ryan will have success similar to their all-time leading scorer, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, the two families have more in common – they’re both old school.
You know, I’m a basketball purist, where do I get that from? You’re going to take care of the ball, you’re going to take good shots, high percentage shots, just tough nose-to-nose- man-to-man defense, everybody’s playing as one.”
There are of course differences between the two Ryans, especially in the times of social media and the way you connect with players.
“In this day and age with social media and kids being raised differently through all of that. I’m old school at heart just like my dad was, he got that from my grandpa. So, I feel like I can balance a little better than my dad,” said Ryan.
Add some new style with a little old school strategy, and Willy Ryan could see success of his own in his second head coaching job.
“I firmly believe the Green Bay fan base, they’ll feed off of that. You do all those things, winning will happen,” said Ryan.
Will Ryan hopes to energize Green Bay fan base