TriCounty Pat Ryan, named Tri-County Co-Male Coach of the Year, Metamora High School, and the IHSA state football playoffs have very much in common.
As a Redbird quarterback, Ryan directed a Metamora attack that took his team to the quarter-finals twice before losing.
And as head coach at his alma mater, he has led his last three teams deep into the tournament, bowing in the semi-finals in 1995 and finishing second in both 1995 and 1997 to New Lennox Providence.
Going 13-1 in each of the last two seasons, the rebuilding job he did last season was truly outstanding. Losing his entire offensive line and brilliant offensive threat Jared Grebner from the 13-1 1996 team, he regrouped his team for another 13-1 season and a second consecutive runnerup slot.
In his eight seasons at Metamora, Ryan has forged a 67-22 record and has won four Mid-Illini titles and shared a fifth. He attended Eureka College and Southeast Missouri State and began his coaching career under his high school coach, John Helmick, in Carbondale. He then spent three seasons as an assistant at Metamora before becoming head coach in 1990.
Pat Ryan, named Tri-County Co-Male Coach of the Year, Metamora High School, and the IHSA state football playoffs have very much in common.
Waddell has played a prominent role in the advancement of women’s athletics as an athlete, coach and administrator. A 1978 inductee into the Illinois State University Athletics Hall of Fame, Waddell earned 16 varsity letters at ISU, playing basketball, field hockey, softball and volleyball for the Redbirds. After graduation, Waddell continued to compete by playing women’s major fast pitch softball for the Pekin Lettes from 1958-63. She also was a member of the Central Illinois Field Hockey Association and the Midwest Field Hockey Team, earning selection to the second EAM All-National Tournament. She also continued her basketball career as a starter for the Peoria/Pekin Independent AAU Basketball Team that won several Illinois AAU state tournaments and competed in national AAU events. Waddell served as site director for the IHSA state softball tournament in Pekin for 25 years and she was the originator and co-director of the Pekin Lassie League softball program, which is credited with providing youth sports opportunities for girls before high school programs gained varsity status in the 1970s.