Mike Ryan was the first coach of the United States Women's National Team. He was the primary actor in founding the University of Washington's soccer program. Ryan also contributed immensely to the area's youth and high school programs. On November 20th of 2012 he passed away at the age of 77.
In the Seattle Times story after his passing there were statements from Alan Hinton, Sunil Gulati and Seattle Pacific coach Cliff McCrath.
Longtime Seattle Pacific coach Cliff McCrath called Ryan perhaps the "principal pioneer for the soccer in the area."
"If Washington state is the Autobahn of soccer, without Mike Ryan it would still be a dusty, country road," McCrath added.
There are not many, if any, who should be on a shorter list of most important people in Seattle soccer history. On Saturday players, coaches and fans will gather to celebrate Mike Ryan, which is in many ways is a celebration of soccer in this community.
WHAT: Mike Ryan Life Celebration
WHO: Invitation open to all friends, former players and colleagues of Mike Ryan and members of soccer community
WHEN: Saturday, January 12, 4:00-7:00 p.m. (drop-in)
WHERE: Concourse Level, Hec Edmundson Pavilion/Alaska Airlines Arena, University of Washington, Seattle
ADMISSION: Donations accepted at the door and online at www.NWSoccer.org. All donations are tax-deductible and benefit the Mike Ryan Memorial Scholarship Fund at Northwest Soccer Camp, which Mike co-founded
PARKING: Free in E1 Montlake Lot (entrance near Husky Soccer Field)
PROGRAM NOTES: Food, No-host open bar provided. Silent auction. Live music, dancing.
ABOUT MIKE RYAN: For more than 50 years Mike Ryan was a jewel of the Puget Sound soccer community, serving as a coach, player and administrator. In addition to numerous youth, high school and state league teams, Mike coached the University of Washington men and U.S. Women’s National Team, and served as the first president of both Washington Youth Soccer and Washington State Women’s Soccer Associations. Mike passed away Nov. 20 at age 77 at his home in Lake City.