For Illinois Central College golf coach, Bo Ryan, the 2020-21 season will mark the 5th decade of commitment to the coaching profession. Ryan came to ICC after more than two decades of coaching excellence at Bradley University. Retiring from Bradley University in June of 2010, Ryan accepted the opportunity to coach golf at ICC in July of the same year and has carried on the perennial success of the Cougar program.
At ICC, Ryan’s program has been represented in the NJCAA DII National Championship, either by a team or individuals, in each of his 10 years at the helm. Under Ryan’s guidance, the program has produced a half-dozen all-Americans and several all-Region and all-Mid-West Athletic Conference players. Ryan’s teams have won more than 30 events in his decade of service at ICC, including three NJCAA Region 24 titles while finishing first or second in 8 of 10 M-WAC Championships.
Known as a “players coach,” Ryan possesses a unique ability to communicate with his team members about both golf and school issues and relate to each one on a personal basis as well. At Bradley, his program produced more than 30 all-conference players as well as nearly 30 academic all-conference selections. In his 24 years at Bradley, all but two his players graduated while at ICC any player seeking to play at the four-year level found the “right-fit.”
As the 20th century closed, Ryan achieved unprecedented success with the women’s golf program at Bradley. In his second season of coaching the Bradley women, his 1999 team became the first women’s team at BU to capture an outright MVC title. The title-capturing effort capped a remarkable re-creation of a program that one time finished 299 strokes out of first place and had never recorded anything better than a 4th place finish prior to the historic ’99 performance. In his 12 years as women’s golf coach as BU, his teams made three NCAA appearances, won four Missouri Valley Conference, while finishing second three other times.
Ryan has been influential in establishing a regionally-based rotation of Region 24 Championship sites as well as an equitable rotation plan for M-WAC Championships. At Bradley, he helped host and orchestrate the 1993, 1999, and 2007 women’s Missouri Valley Conference Golf Championships as well as securing the site and directing the 1996 MVC Men’s Golf Championship at Annbriar Golf Club in Waterloo, IL. Ryan has been honored with eight coach-of-the-year awards by various NJCAA factions and has garnered a pair of Missouri Valley Conference Coach-of-the-Year accolades.
Ryan and his wife Liz, a former Gateway/MVC All-Conference softball player, have four grown daughters: Keegan, Cagney, Delainey, and Chandler.