"The neatest times I had in high school were with athletic teams," said Ryan who played baseball, football and basketball for Minnetonka. "We had a lot of fun, great coaches and great teams. It's great to be honored by the people who walked those halls," he added.
Ryan's experience as a Minnetonka athlete was unique. He was chosen to play varsity quarterback as a freshman, which he played for four years, and was chosen as a varsity basketball point guard for four years. And through the years as records were broken and the accolades came in, he carried himself with humility, always smiling. For him it was always, 'team first.' "Ryan was always a phenomenal athlete," said classmate and Minnetonka High School teacher Tim Felty.
Ryan, a football captain, holds Minnetonka Football records in the number of passing touchdowns in a season and a career, and the number of passing yards earned in a career. He represented Minnetonka in the 1998 State All-Star Football Game. He was also a member of the 1998 State Champion Minnetonka Boys Basketball team. He thanks Minnetonka coaches John Hedstrom, George Soukop and Myles Ginther with supporting his growth as a champion athlete.
Ryan remembers history teacher Bev Ginther and biology teacher Mrs. Neitzke as inspiring his learning; "they were fun, unique and they cared," he said.
Ryan currently holds records for Minnesota's all-time third most career passing yards gained (7,482) and all-time seventh for most pass completions (35) in a game. He is tied with seven others for all-time most touchdown passes (7) thrown in a game and a career (83).
Ryan graduated from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he was quarterback on the football team. In 2003, that team won a national championship. He holds several college passing records.
Ryan is now working at the sales manager for Imaging Solutions. He just began volunteering in a program that gives young people a second chance. He and his wife Jessica, also a Minnetonka alum, are moving back to Minnetonka. They are expecting their first child