January 7th, 2016

Hyland's Hero: Dugan Ryan

Samantha Stallings

Staff Writer

Hyland's Hero: Dugan Ryan
Photo from the Ryan Family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Dugan Ryan was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. where he attended St. Denis Grade School. He attended Holy Cross High School for his first three years and finished his senior year at Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knob,Ind. Dugan graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1994. He married to Kim Flood Ryan in 2000 and they have two children : Trey, who is in 6th grade and Patrick who is in 5th grade both attend St. Gabriel.

When and how did you get your start with St. Gabriel ?

My wife and I moved to Nashville, TN in 1999 for a job opportunity and lived there until Trey was born in 2004.  Immediately upon our return to Louisville we joined St Gabriel Parish.  It was important to us to be a part of a community that was welcoming and could be an extension of our family.  We knew our children would attend a Catholic grade school so we were looking for a parish/school that had a wonderful balance of family, faith and education.  We certainly found our home at St Gabriel.  I feel the Catholic school community is one of the only things that has some resemblance of how things were when I was growing up…kids living in the same neighborhoods and going to school and church together.  There aren’t many of my childhood memories that don’t involve my St. Denis family and my time there.  Having communities where families live, work and pray together creates bonds and friendships that are life-long. That was extremely important to my family. 

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

I had immediately formed a relationship with the Athletic Director, Tim McGinty, when we joined St Gabriel.  I currently own a local Sports Talk Radio Station in Louisville and began working with Tim about possibilities of promoting St. Gabriel sports and see if there were any opportunities my station could help.  It didn’t take him long to figure out my obsession with sports and asked me to coach my son’s basketball team when Trey was in pre-K. 

What sports did or do you volunteer to help and for how long?

I currently coach 5/6 boys basketball.  I have coached both of my sons at different times for the past 7 years.  Having my children one year apart in school gives me the unique opportunity to coach them both at the same time and on the same team. 

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

Being involved in a parish outside of attending mass is such an important aspect of building our community.  Coaching basketball is the one thing I can do and make a difference.  I can mentor/coach children and help them not only be better basketball players but also teach them to better men.  Having my two sons on the team has taken that sentiment to the next level.  I have truly loved watching them grow as players, develop their relationship with each other and strengthen our father/son bond.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?

I would have to say my father has been the biggest influence in my volunteer career.  He has always instilled in my sisters and I the importance of giving back to your church and your community.  I want my boys to see me in the same way I have admired my father over the past 44 years.

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

Give it your all

Respect the game

Always have integrity

Maintain self-control

AND most of all please have FUN

What does your role at St. Gabriel bring your family?

My role allows my family and me to be active parishioners and enjoy relationships they may not have had without our involvement in sports.  Some of our closest friends are those families we have played sports with for the past seven years and for that I will be forever grateful to St Gabriel and the families of my players.   

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

There are so many but I have to say watching these boys set and achieve personal and team goals is something I will never forget.  Being given this small opportunity to influence the lives of these young men is not something I take lightly.  They have taught me and given me more than I could ever give them.


Recent Articles