Ryan Steps Down
Glen Ryan stepped down from his head role for Walker Valley football. Ryan is the only coach in program history to win a TSSAA playoff game. (Banner File Photo: Patrick MacCoon)
The winningest coach in Walker Valley football history has decided it's time to move on.
Veteran coach Glen Ryan announced Thursday he will not be coming back to lead the Mustangs. He finishes his WV career with a 26-48 record and three playoff appearances in seven seasons at the helm.
"My final message to the team was that we have had some good times and some not so good times. It is time for me to step down now. I wish them and Walker Valley nothing but the very best!"
While the past two seasons have been dark and dreary for a football program with just one victory in the time span, history was made in the Ryan era.
Trailing 21-7 early in the first round of the 2016 Class 5A Playoffs to Oak Ridge, a 28-point second quarter led by a pair of scores from Kolten Gibson and Mason Oran helped Walker Valley upset the No. 1 seed on the road
That 35-28 victory came on Nov. 3, 2016, over the Wildcats, who had Clemson standout Tee Higgins. The Mustangs are 1-8 in playoff games over their 18-year history.
"One of my greatest memories in my coaching career is our win against Oak Ridge in the playoffs," Ryan said. "I will never forget that night. It was the first (TSSAA) playoff win ever for Walker Valley football."
The offensive-minded coach, who was hired as the OC for the Mustangs in 2009, saw his teams average 31 points over the course of his WV head coaching career.
Record holders and Division I wide receiver talents emerged under a powerful spread attack, which set a program record with 501 points scored in a seven-win '16 campaign.
However, the following season saw the Walker Valley defense surrender 501 points in just 10 games, while they were outscored 445-88 this year in a winless season.
Ryan was 25-29 overall through his first five seasons in which his teams outscored opponents by an average score of 35-29.7.
Ryan is the only coach to beat Bradley Central in program history, as the Mustangs won a 17-13 defensive battle in 2014.
Other big wins under Ryan's tenure included 34-0 and 68-36 triumphs in back-to-back years over Cleveland in 2015 and 2016.
Walker Valley landed a major upset over state-ranked Red Bank on the road for their lone victory in 2017. The defense posted a second-half shutout, and Gibson accounted for six touchdowns and two interceptions defensively.
Only six other quarterbacks in the country threw for more yards (3,341) than Gibson did in just 10 games in '17. Zeke Westfield also set receiving records with 1,624 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Ryan also beat Soddy-Daisy three years in a row and had more wins (4) against the Trojans than any other team.
His first head coaching stint came at Soddy-Daisy (1998-2003), where he went 35-29 with four trips to the Class 5A Playoffs.
From 2004-08, he was a head coach for Munford in West Tennessee going 22-31 overall with two playoff appearances and a career-best eight-win season.
Ryan plans to take a few days to decided whether he will hang up his coaching whistle for good or look elsewhere to coach football.
Walker Valley AD Mike Turner said he does not have any candidates on the radar, so far.
A new era is on the way for the Mustangs, who will now begin their search for the fifth coach in program history.