During her 31-year tenure as head coach of Stony Brook’s women’s soccer team, Sue Ryan led the program’s evolution from Division III to Division I.
While no longer at the helm of the Seawolves’ women’s program, she is among a group of five individuals that will be the inaugural recipients of the United Soccer Coaches’ Advocacy Awards of Excellence. The quintet will be honored in January during the United Soccer Coaches Convention.
According to the association, the awards honor an individual, organization or group that has shown outstanding work representative of the values of their respective Advocacy Group and dedication to meeting the association’s highest ideals of inclusion and diversity in the game of soccer. Recipients were nominated by United Soccer Coaches members and selected by each individual Advocacy Group. Ryan will receive the LGBT & Allies Award of Excellence.
“We are delighted to recognize five individuals who have demonstrated our association’s commitment to the culture of soccer through advocacy,” said United Soccer Coaches CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel. “Each has dedicated time and service to meeting the need for diversity and inclusion in the game and in our membership.”
In addition to Ryan, the four other honorees are:
- Black Coaches Award of Excellence — Kim Crabbe
- Disabilities Allies Award of Excellence — Lauren Gregg
- Faith-Based Coaches Award of Excellence — Dan Wood
- Latin American Coaches Award of Excellence — Charlie Inverso
During her coaching career with the Seawolves, Ryan had 229 wins including eight seasons with at least 10 wins. In 1989, the women’s soccer team completed the transition to Division I, becoming the university’s first sport at the Division I level.
Among her career highlights at Stony Brook came in 2012 when the Seawolves made its first appearance in the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
Ryan has also worked at the U.S. National Team level with the U-17s and U-20s. At the regional level, she has been at the helm of the Region I Girls’ Olympic Development Program for more than 25 years. In this role, Ryan is responsible for identifying and developing the top youth talent within Region I for possible inclusion in national team programs.
Ryan is currently an assistant professor at Stony Brook, where she received her master’s degree in 1988, after earning a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland.
She played four years of soccer at Cortland and was a member of the Red Dragons’ team that captured the United States Women’s National Championship in 1980. In 1982, she served as team captain in the Red Dragons’ first season at the Division I level, and led the team to an NCAA tournament appearance.