Posted on July 2, 2014 by Christopher Thrall

Greg Ryan was inducted into the Volleyball Alberta Hall of Fame as a coach on June 28.

By Mark Crown, Camrose Canadian

Greg Ryan AthleticsYou can add another line to the long list of accomplishments for Greg Ryan.

The University of Alberta — Augustana Campus director of athletics was inducted into the Volleyball Alberta Hall of Fame as a coach during the annual Mikasa Achievement Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet at the Westin Hotel in Edmonton June 28.

In his 35-year volleyball career, Ryan has worked as an assistant and head coach for the University of Calgary Dinos women’s volleyball team, the head coach of the Dinos men’s team, the head coach for Montana State University – Northern as well as a number of positions with World Student Games teams.

Ryan credited much of his success to the influence of his father, who travelled with teams Ryan coached early in his career to lend support.

“He’s been a tremendous influence on me. He taught me how not to quit and how to persist,” Ryan said.

His drive to persist carried Ryan forward to earn a level five certification from the National Coaching Certification Program along with the designation of Master Coach from the National Coaches Institute. In 1992 he earned his master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Calgary in the art and science of coaching and is currently working towards his PhD in physical education, researching the field of coaching motivation.

With all of those accolades it’s eyebrow raising to learn that Ryan credits turning down a national coaching job as one of the wisest choices he’s ever made. Eyebrow raising, that is, until you hear his reasons.

“It was only a moment ago that I was sitting on the edge of my bed in Cochrane. The president of Volleyball Canada was on the line telling me the job of head coach of the national team was mine if I wanted it. I had long coveted this job and wanted very much to accept this position,” he explained. “However, between the time of the job interview and the job offer our twins had been born, and I knew rather quickly that leaving [my wife] Alyson alone with four youngsters at home — three in diapers at the time — really wasn’t possible.

“Turning down that offer at the time was maybe painful, but I found out later it was the second wisest choice I’ve ever made. The wisest choice was asking Alyson to marry me.”

Ryan joins an elite class of coaches inducted into the Volleyball Alberta Hall of Fame. Since its inception in 2004, only seven others have been honoured as inductees.


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