BANNER ELK, N.C. --- We want you to get to know our staff better Bobcat Nation! With many new faces on staff this year, Lees-McRae College Director of Athletics Craig McPhail continues our Meet the Coaches series by sitting down with Ryan Riedel, first-year assistant coach with the women's basketball program. The Bobcats' Meet the Coaches series aims to help you, Bobcat Nation, learn more about the people behind the scenes and on the sidelines guiding our student-athletes through their experience in collegiate athletics.
Craig McPhail (Mac): How did you get started in college athletics?
Ryan Riedel (RR): I was lucky enough at be involved in collegiate athletics from an early age. My mother started working in the University of Kansas men's basketball office when I was only two, so I essentially grew up in the Jayhawk locker room. My family moved out to North Carolina when I was nine years old, but with my Dad having been a former basketball coach as well, including here at Lees McRae, I was never too far removed from it. Roy Williams and his staff came out to North Carolina in 2003, and the summer before my senior year of high school I was able to work their basketball camp. I did the same thing the next summer, and was asked to be a junior varsity manager with the UNC men's basketball my freshman year. The following year, Coach Joe Holladay graciously hired me as one of the managers for the varsity team, where I worked for four years before graduating.
Mac: What are your direct responsibilities with regards to the women's basketball program?
RR: My direct responsibilities here at Lees McRae include on-court coaching for practice and games, coordinating our recruiting efforts, breaking down film for scouts, academic liaison, serving as game-day coordinator for most of our other sports, as well as other day to day functions.
Mac: What does an average day consist of for you?
RR: An average day includes checking in on our recruits and seeing when they play next, making sure the team laundry has been done, scouting opposing teams and preparing the film scout, and then practice and recruiting.
Mac: What is your most memorable moment in college athletics?
RR: My most memorable moment in sports is definitely the night of the 2009 national championship game when we beat Michigan State to win. Rushing the court with the other managers and being in the locker room after the game is something I will never forget.
Mac: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
RR: The most rewarding thing for me is helping our girls become better basketball players and better individuals, as well as the success that we achieve as a team.
Mac: What makes Lees-McRae so special for you?
RR: Lees McRae is special to me because it is the first place that has given me a chance to coach, and I feel it is where God wants me to be at this point in my life.
Mac: Who is your mentor or guide in this profession?
RR: I feel like I have several mentors in coaching. The first is definitely my dad. He was a coach for sixteen years, and has always tried to teach me more and more about the game. The coaches at Carolina, Roy Williams, Joe Holladay, Steve Robinson, CB McGrath, and Jerod Haase, who is now the head coach at UAB, taught me so much in my time at UNC, and I know there is still an unbelievable wealth of knowledge that I can gleam from them. Coach Michele Williams here at Lees McRae has been absolutely wonderful to work with and to learn from as well; I couldn't ask for a better teacher.
Mac: What do you hope to leave as a lasting impression for this position?
RR: I hope that I can show that hard work and determination pays off, and to help instill a winning mentality for our basketball program at this school and for our girls, not just on the court, but in the classroom and in their lives after college.
Mac: What are your goals for the future?
RR: Eventually my goal is to be a Division I coach or director of basketball operations for a successful program.
Mac: What is your favorite hobby other than sports?
RR: If we were talking about other sports it would definitely be golf; I've loved golf since I was little. My favorite hobby would probably be either reading or running. I love the feeling you get after a good run and workout.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Ryan Riedel. Stay tuned for our next installment in the near future.