Ryan, Rex

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Rex Ryan being introduced as new head coach of the Jets
Rex Ryan is the current head coach of the New York Jets.


Background and college

Born December 13, 1962 in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Ryan attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University and was a letterman in football. He earned both a bachelor of science and master's degree (1988) in physical education from Eastern Kentucky University.

Coaching career

College, NFL and back to college

Ryan begain his coaching career at Eastern Kentucky, as a defensive ends cach in 1987. In 1989 he spent a season at New Mexico Highlands as defensive coordinator. From 1990 until 1993 he was defensive co-ordinator at Morehead State. In 1994, Ryan got a job in the NFL, with Arizona, wotrking with the linebacking coprs and defensive line. However in 1996 it was back to college ranks, this time with Cincinnati as their defensive coordinator. In 1998 Ryan was on the move again, this time to Oklahoma, again as defensive coordinator.

With the Ravens

Ryan joined the Baltimore Ravens in 1999 as a defensive assistant, eventually earning a promotion to defensive coordinator in 2005.

Following the disappointing 2007 season, Ravens head coach Brian Billick was fired, along with the entire coaching staff. Ryan interviewed with the Ravens for their head coaching vacancy, which eventually went to John Harbaugh, despite Ryan having the support of most of the players on the team. Ryan also interviewed with Miami and Atlanta, but Miami hired Tony Sparano, the former assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys, and Atlanta hired Mike Smith, the former defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Harbaugh rehired Ryan as Defensive Coordinator, and gave him a promotion to Assistant Head Coach.

With the Jets

Following Baltimore's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2008 AFC Conference Championship, the Jets offered Ryan a four-year deal to become their next head coach. On January 20, 2009, it was announced that Ryan was the new Jets head coach.


Ryan is the son of former Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals head coach Buddy Ryan, who was also the former Jets linebackers coach and was responsible for the Jets defensive game plan in Super Bowl III. Ryan's twin brother Rob is currently defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

Preceeded by Jets Head Coach Succeeded by
Eric Mangini 2009 - Incumbent
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