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.
Ulrich has coached in the Junior Football League and youth baseball for 32 years, while also serving as president of numerous youth leagues and director of the Peoria Diocesan basketball tournament. He began volunteering as coach for the Richwoods Browns JFL team in 1971 and served in a coaching or administrative capacity for the Richwoods JFL program from 1971-89. In addition, he served as a coach and president of the Richwoods League League, as well as Pony League, from 1975-85. During that same period, he coached the Bergan All-Star Pony League from 1981-84. In his role as St. Thomas Grade School athletic director for 32 years, Ulrich directed the 11 boys (six) and girls (five) basketball teams for 27 years, scheduling tournaments, ordering uniforms and hiring officials among his many duties. He also served as director of the Peoria Diocesan Tournament for 14 years. Ulrich coached basketball at Peoria Heights Grade School from 2006-11 and he volunteered as manager of a fastpitch team in the Peoria Park District Softball League for 23 years, while also playing on the team for several seasons. He currently is completing his two-year stint as the St. Philomena School 5th Grade boys basketball team and is preparing for his second year of coaching in the Irish youth baseball program.