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Inside the Headset with the AFCA

Apr 14, 2022

This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring Morningside University Head Coach, Steve Ryan. In this episode, Coach Ryan shares his experience navigating his program through the pandemic, explains the importance of developing men beyond the playing field, and highlights the lessons he learned early in his career as a high school freshman football coach.

Steve Ryan has guided the Mustangs to a 208-41 record for an 83.5 winning percentage in 20 seasons for the most football coaching victories and the highest victory rate in Morningside history. Ryan has led the Mustangs to 18 consecutive post-season appearances in the NAIA National Championship Series, where the team has advanced to at least the semifinals eight times in the last 10 years and gathered three national championships. He has led the Mustangs to 12 Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) championships, including their current run of 11 consecutive league titles.

Ryan is a four-time NAIA/American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. He earned his first such accolade in 2012 when the Mustangs went 13-1 and appeared in the national championship for the first time; his second occurred in 2018 as the Maroon rolled through an unbeaten campaign en route to the school’s first national title, his third was earned in 2019 following Morningside's second successive unbeaten campaign and national championship, and his fourth was gained following an unbeaten 2021 and third national championship. He's also a member of the AFCA's Board of Directors. Ryan is a 10-time GPAC Coach of the Year winner as well as an 11-time AFCA NAIA Region 4 Coach of the Year winner.

  • [0:30] Start of interview
  • [0:50] What made his 2021 senior class so special
  • [2:40] Navigating a team through the pandemic
  • [4:19] Staying motivated while experiencing success
  • [5:45] Evolving as a coach to stay competitive
  • [8:29] Personal approach to taking a coaching job
  • [10:35] Importance of the development of men
  • [15:10] Lessons learned as a high school freshmen coach
  • [19:01] Impact of the AFCA