Jim Ryan begins his eighth season as an assistant football coach for Washington University in St. Louis. Ryan was named the defensive coordinator on Jan. 19, 2012, after two years as the special teams coordinator. He also serves as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Bears.
Ryan has been part of three University Athletic Association (UAA) championships while serving on Kindbom’s staff - 2012, 2013 and 2015 - and an NCAA Playoffs appearance in 2013. He was also named the 2015 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III Assistant Coach of the Year.
Ryan had overwhelming success as the defensive coordinator in 2012, finishing 25th in NCAA Division III in pass efficiency defense allowing just eight passing touchdowns. The Bears also finished 25th in overall pass defense and 52nd in total defense. In 2013, the Bears posted an 8-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Playoffs for the second time in school history. The Bears also ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in scoring defense, allowing 11.5 points per game.
In his first season as the special teams coordinator in 2010, the Bears’ punt unit led the UAA and was second in NCAA Division III with a 37.78 average. In 2011, the Bears were second in the UAA and 31st in Division III (34.08).
Ryan arrived on the Danforth Campus after spending five seasons (2003-08) as the defensive coordinator at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill. Ryan’s defense at IC set school records for points allowed in a season as well as turnovers in a season. Prior to his arrival at Illinois College, he served as defensive coordinator and Interim Head Coach at Colorado College from 2002-03. Ryan was also a graduate assistant coach at Delta State University in 2001 and University of North Alabama (2002), and defensive line coach at Ft. Lewis College (2000-01).
Ryan is a 2000 graduate of Colorado State University–Pueblo with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. He received his master’s degree in sports business administration from University of Central Missouri in 2011. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a member of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
Ryan authored two videos – Defensive Line Fundamentals and Drills vs the Pass, Defensive Line Fundamentals and Drills vs the Run – for the Nike Coaches of the Year Clinic.
He and his wife, Laura Sauer, are the proud parents of twins, Andrew (4) and Emelia (4).