In 46th year with NP, legendary “Doc” Ryan announces January retirement

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Erin Crew- image courtesy of npsd.phanfare.com

ICONIC: North Penn High School Athletic Director Donald C. “Doc” Ryan speaks at a ceremony in May, 2014 honoring longtime NP baseball coach Carl Giuranna. Ryan, who is in his 46th year with North Penn, announced he will retire effective January 9, 2015.

Kevin Manero, Knight Crier Adviser

TOWAMENCIN – In 1969 he started his employment at North Penn High School managing equipment and taping ankles. 46 years later, he is one of the most iconic names in North Penn history and throughout the local sports scene. It would be no stretch to attach to his name the term “legend.” And yesterday, long time North Penn High School athletic director Donald C. “Doc” Ryan announced he will retire effective January 9th.

He’s been around for many players, coaches, and administrators, and certainly for all those who have played or coached during his tenure, there are many defining moments that will resonate for a very long time.

“He’s a fixture in the building and has always been super supportive of all the coaches. He will be tough to replace,” said North Penn head football coach Dick Beck.

“What I remember most is his emotion after the state championship game. Him and I hugging and him holding the ball -that was pretty special,” added Beck.

In a statement released to his head coaches, Ryan stated, “As a fellow inductee, Greg Moyer, said at the North Penn Athletic Alumni Association Hall of Fame Induction – “to find out what you want to do in life you should change jobs every 4 or five years”. I didn’t hear him say that soon enough. I still love my job and have the eagerness to help the program get better and work on solving our problems, but, my energy level is not what it used to be.”

North Penn HS Athletic Director Don Ryan settles the crowd at the 2013 PIAA baseball state championship game in State College, PA.
Cindy Manero- image courtesy of npsd.phanfare.com
North Penn HS Athletic Director Don Ryan settles the crowd at the 2013 PIAA baseball state championship game in State College, PA.

In 1971 Ryan took on the role of assistant to the athletic director, and in 1981 took the helm. In October of this year, he was inducted into the North Penn Alumni Athletic Association Hall of Fame. 34 PIAA state titles later, Ryan leaves an incredible legacy at North Penn High School.

“Doc Ryan has provided unparalleled service to the North Penn School District and community. His steady hand guided a program with immeasurable impact on the lives of generations of North Penn High School students,.” said North Penn superintendent Dr. Curt Dietrich, adding “Doc Ryan always had my full trust because his judgment in handling any situation was truly rock solid.”

It is difficult to argue that Ryan’s retirement is anything less than the end of an era in North Penn athletics, and a long and productive era at that. In addition to the 34 state titles, over 200 Suburban One Championships and national recognition from Sports Illustrated have marked the time.  With so much success and so many experiences on and off the field, there is never any shortage of sports talk in and around his office.

FIELD GENERAL: Don Ryan presides over a 2013 baseball state playoff game at Easton High School. Ryan, who had presides over North Penn Athletics since 1981, will retire in January.
Cindy Manero- image courtesy of npsd.phanfare.com
FIELD GENERAL: Don Ryan presides over a 2013 baseball state playoff game at Easton High School. Ryan, who has presided over North Penn Athletics since 1981, will retire in January.

” I will always treasure the visits to Doc’s office where we enjoyed discussing the successes of our student athletes and, on occasion, pondered what might have been had the ball bounced a different way. Our district will be forever indebted to Doc Ryan for his countless hours of service to the well-being of the student athletes of North Penn. I wish him all the best in retirement,” Dietrich said.

No further information is yet available on how the district will handle the vacancy, but according to Ryan, until January 9th it will be “business as usual.”

North Penn High School principal Burt Hynes recognizes what Ryan has meant to the scores of North Penn family who have benefitted from his time with the district.

“Doc has been a well-respected pillar of the athletic community for many years.  As our athletic director for over 33 years, he has always supported student athletes and coaches by encouraging them to do their best.  He has selflessly given of his time to ensure that athletes can practice on holidays and on days of inclement weather.  He has been a knowledgeable participant on the Administrative Team during the tenure of seven high school principals, and I have always valued and appreciated his insights and his perspective.  His name has become synonymous with North Penn athletics and his well-deserved retirement caps a career that has promoted individual student, as well as team, successes.  His presence on the sidelines will be missed by athletes, coaches, parents, alumni, and the entire high school staff, but we are confident that he will remain available as a resource and a cheerleader for all North Penn sports programs,” stated Hynes.

For more information about the career of Don Ryan, check out the article written by Knight Crier’s Evan Hayes: https://www.knightcrier.org/top-stories/2014/10/29/the-doc-is-in-hall-of-fam-induction-well-deserved-for-a-np-icon/