Sehome coach Kevin Ryan’s success has been recognized on the national level. The Coaches Association of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) named Ryan National Coach of the Year in girls track and field for the 2016-17 school year. Under Ryan’s leadership, girls track and field won the 2A state championship in the spring.
Ryan told The Bellingham Herald in an interview the entire coaching staff has built a strong program over the past 10 or 15 years. Ryan has been head coach since 2010.
“Anyone who knows track and field knows that it’s more than one coach. I wish I could take the single name off the award and put the whole staff on it, but it is a very nice honor for me and the staff as a whole,” Ryan told the Herald.
Ryan teaches social studies at Sehome and also coaches boys and girls cross country. He led both cross country teams to 2A state titles in November.
Sehome Athletics Coordinator Colin Cushman said Ryan has built a program that welcomes and honors students at all levels of ability.
“Kevin has had many teams and kids win state titles, but his greatest strength is connecting with all kids regardless of level and letting them know they are all equally important,” Cushman said. “Kevin embodies the Bellingham Promise as both a teacher in the classroom and on the field of play. We are very lucky to have him as part of the Sehome community.”
Every year, the NFHS gives national awards to coaches in 22 sports. Sehome’s Don Helling received the NFHS award for boys swimming in 2008.