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Lion VoicesNovember 01, 2022

Staff Voices: Ryan McAdams

Written By: Emily Forshee

Ryan McAdams, who started his career as a Lion in July of 2021, grew up in the San Francisco Bay area in Northern California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in educational leadership and administration from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

Though he serves as the Head Women’s Basketball coach at UAFS – he began his career coaching on the men’s side of the sport. “It quickly became my calling,” he said. Ryan takes great pride in his role as a coach and in the tremendous community that comes with coaching women’s athletics, sharing that the experience has taught him a great deal about himself and how to represent and advocate for his student-athletes. “I am beyond fortunate to be in this role at this institution.”

His proudest accomplishments are the relationships he has maintained with former players. Ryan, who has been married to his wife Stacy for 11 years, even once walked a former player down the aisle at her wedding. “I have followed their successes and the adversities in their lives and have been fortunate that they’ve allowed me to continue in their lives. I hosted a reunion of former players over zoom during COVID, and 25 of them made the time to be there and celebrate each other. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life.”

Beyond building relationships with his players, Ryan sees one of the best and most important parts of his job as providing advocacy and allyship for underrepresented communities both on and off the court. “Coaching is a continual learning process in so many ways, and it has helped me be a better person, father, and husband,” he said. “The opportunities I have to connect with individual student-athletes and their teams collectively never get old and provide a unique experience every year.”

When asked what people might not know or expect about his job, Ryan said, “Coaching the game is a smaller percentage of my role than most people know. Guiding young people toward their personal goals, academic monitoring, helping them navigate the student-athlete experience by focusing on mental health, and many other things all amount to coaching. The beauty of my job is no day is the same. Ever. That is both exhausting and amazing at the same time. I love what I do because of the unexpected parts. I got into coaching for the competition and the excitement of a sport I played my whole life to that point, but I have stayed because of all of the other aspects. The games are fun and exciting, but the process of practice and gradual improvement and watching physical, mental, and emotional maturity and growth has kept me in it.”

Ryan’s favorite thing to highlight when speaking to others about UAFS is how special the university’s community is. “People care about their students, and we all aim to give them a well-rounded experience, including holistic growth, overall wellness, and mental health.” He also described his team as “a tight-knit, unique group of people,” saying, “Our identities do not end as athletes or coaches. We all have so much more we bring to the table outside of those roles. We play an exciting brand of basketball, and we compete with each other and support each other in all areas. I am very excited about the season ahead.”

Each month Staff Senate recognizes a member of the UAFS Staff community who is making a difference on our campus.
Staff Senate officers and representatives collect nominations from each division throughout the year. UAFS faculty and staff
may also nominate staff members for consideration by sending their names to

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