UW-Green Bay Fires Will Ryan

After a 2-19 start to the season and an 11-game losing streak, the Will Ryan era is over for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s basketball team.

Ryan took over the UWGB Phoenix program prior to the 2020-21 season after Green Bay fired Linc Darner. In two and a half seasons, Ryan compiled a 15-61 (.197) record with the Phoenix.

Assistant coach Freddie Owens will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Assistant coach Brandon Pritzl will remain with the program, but fellow assistant Jarod Swanson is leaving with Ryan.

“I want to sincerely thank Will Ryan and his family for their contributions to the men’s basketball program these past three seasons,” UWGB athletic director Josh Moon said in a statement. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Green Bay expects to begin a nationwide search for the next head coach immediately and has retained Parker Executive to help with the search.

This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go for Will Ryan.

He was hired in June 2020 to help energize a dwindling fan base, but it just never worked out on the court or in getting more spectators in the stands during his short time.

The team went 15-61 in his tenure, including 13-37 in Horizon League play. The numbers were trending in the wrong direction, with each season being worse than the prior season. UWGB is currently on an 11-game losing streak.

Ryan certainly had things work against him from the start, however. His first offseason in Green Bay arrived extremely late due to the timing of Darner’s departure, not to mention it came in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA transfer portal also did not allow Will Ryan to build any continuity with his system or the roster, with several players departing at the end of his first two seasons.

The transfer portal in college football and college basketball has turned into a joke, but I digress, and that’s a conversation for another day.

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