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Tom Ryan
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Iowa
Graduating Year: 1993
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Tom Ryan Biography
Courtesy: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Release: 06/29/2007

Tom Ryan and the Buckeyes capped the 2007-08 season with a runner-up finish in the NCAA Championships and along with a credentialed coaching staff, produced two NCAA individual champions, as well as three national finalists. In all, four All-Americans and an individual Big Ten champion also was a part of the storied year. Nineteen regular-season victories, last accomplished in 2002, along with six conference wins, not done since 1993, were the parts that made up a history-making sum for the Ohio State wrestling team.

With a 23-dual match schedule, including eight Big Ten Conference matches, awaiting the Scarlet and Gray, Ohio State generated monumental wins en route to a postseason that was even more unforgettable. It was in the NCAA Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., Ryan coached junior J Jaggers (141) and redshirt-sophomore Mike Pucillo (184) to national titles. As Jaggers and Pucillo, along with senior J.D. Bergman, who was a runner-up at heavyweight, continued the climb in their respective brackets, the Buckeyes also continued their ascent in the team standings.

Prior to the national championships, Ryan led Pucillo to a league crown, the first Buckeye to achieve such a feat since 2004. Ryan guided Pucillo, a first-team All-Big Ten recipient, to a spotless regular-season conference record (8-0) and witnessed Pucillo end just his second year of collegiate wrestling with a near-perfect ledger of 34-1.

Also in just his second year at the helm of the Buckeyes, Ryan was instrumental in the Buckeyes increasing their home attendance in storied St. John Arena. Not only did a record-setting crowd of 4,378 come out to support the Scarlet and Gray vs. Iowa Jan. 18, but that record was shattered when Ohio State hosted Michigan Feb. 10. With a fan base of 5,341 behind them, the Buckeyes pulled out a 16-15 victory over the Wolverines, snapping a Michigan 14-match win streak.

In the midst of its grueling schedule, Ohio State accepted an invitation to the National Duals in January and it was in Cedar Falls, Iowa, it downed No. 1-ranked Penn State, 24-11. The win was a prelude to an exciting rematch in Columbus, in which the Buckeyes recovered from two nine-point deficits to edge the Nittany Lions, 22-19. 

Even in year one, Ryan stepped into the role of head coach and took the first steps that would serve as a preface to what was to come. In just his first season, Ryan guided four Buckeyes to All-America status, which is the most for a first-year Ohio State head coach. Not only did several of Ryan’s mentees achieve individual success, but as a team the Scarlet and Gray finished in the Top 10 of the national tournament for the first time since 2004, jumping from 45th in 2006 to 10th in 2007. 

Academically, Ryan’s Buckeyes have excelled in the classroom. In 2008, Pucillo and Bergman, a 2008 graduate, were named to the NWCA All-Academic Team, while seven wrestlers garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors. Nine Buckeyes also were honored with Ohio State Scholar-Athlete honors. During this past summer, Colt Sponseller was named to the inaugural NWCA Division I True-Freshman All-Academic Team. 

2008 graduates, Alex Picazo and Nickolai Timbs were major scholarship recipients at the OSU Scholar-Athlete banquet. Picazo received the Men’s Varsity O Scholarship. The award provides a male scholar-athlete with a one-time stipend of $4,000 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State. Timbs was the recipient of the A.K. and Judith A. Pierce Phoenix Award. The honor is given to a student-athlete who has excelled in academics, athletics, and personal growth attained through perseverance and hard work.   

During his wrestling career, Ryan was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American for Iowa (second in 1991, third in 1992) as a member of the Hawkeyes’ 1991 and 1992 national and Big Ten championships teams. He also was a two-time Big Ten champion in 1991 and 1992. Prior to enrolling at Iowa, Ryan wrestled at Syracuse, where he was the 1989 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Champion.

Ryan is a native of Wantagh, N.Y., where he attended Wantagh High School. He received his bachelor of science degree in education from Iowa in 1993. He and his wife, Lynette, have four children, Jordan, Jake, Teague and Mackenzie.

Ryan`s Career Record

 Year School   W  L  T  Conference Finish
 1995-96  Hofstra  3  12  0  Eighth (ECWA)
 1996-97  Hofstra  4  13  0  Seventh (ECWA)
 1997-98  Hofstra  11  6  0  Second (ECWA)
 1998-99  Hofstra  11  5  0  Second (ECWA)
 1999-00  Hofstra  8  8  1  Second (ECWA)
 2000-01  Hofstra  8  7  0  First (ECWA)
 2001-02  Hofstra  12  6  0  First (CAA)
 2002-03  Hofstra  13  7  0  First (CAA)
 2003-04  Hofstra  15  5  0  First (CAA)
 2004-05  Hofstra  13  5  0  First (CAA)
 2005-06  Hofstra  11  9  0  First (CAA)
 2006-07  Ohio State  8  7  0  Ninth (Big Ten)
 2007-08  Ohio State  19  4  0  Fifth (Big Ten); National Runner-up
   Total  136  94  1  (.591)

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