Rob Ryan

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For other people named Rob Ryan, see Robert Ryan (disambiguation).
Rob Ryan
Buffalo Bills
Position: Assistant head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-12-13) December 13, 1962 (age 53)
Place of birth: Ardmore, Oklahoma
Career information
High school: Lincolnshire (IL) Stevenson
College: Southwestern Oklahoma State
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Coaching stats at PFR

Robert Allen Ryan[1] (born December 13, 1962) is an American football assistant head coach for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He is the son of former defensive coordinator and head coach Buddy Ryan and the twin brother of current head coach of the Buffalo Bills, Rex Ryan.

Early life[edit]

When his parents, Doris and Buddy Ryan, divorced in 1966, Rob and his fraternal twin, Rex,[2] moved with Doris to Toronto.[3] In 1974, they moved back to the United States to live with their father.[3] He attended Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Rob played defensive end opposite his brother Rex at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Ryan was a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky in 1987 and at Ohio State in 1988. Ryan then spent 5 seasons at Tennessee State, where he coached running backs (1989–91), wide receivers (1992) and the defensive line (1993). He served as defensive coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in 1996, where they led the nation in total defense (228 yards per game) and in sacks (56). His defense also set a national record by forcing 49 turnovers.

Ryan originally entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1994 as defensive backs coach on his father's staff for the Arizona Cardinals. He also coached Cardinals cornerbacks and safeties in 1995. With Ryan as his position coach, cornerback Aeneas Williams earned two trips to the Pro Bowl in 1994 and 1995. In 1995, the Cardinals led the NFL with 32 interceptions and 42 total takeaways. The 1994 Cardinals ranked second in the NFL total defense, second in run defense and third in pass defense. From 1997–99, Ryan was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, where the Cowboys defense continually ranked among the best in the nation, also he was named Coordinator of the Year by The Sporting News in 1997.

In 1999, they were ranked 10th in the nation in total defense. In 1998, they were second in the nation with 41 sacks. In his first season at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys defense finished among the nation top-20 in turnover margin, rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense, allowing just 302.7 yards per game. It was an over 100-yard improvement per game from the year before and helped the Cowboys produce an 8–4 mark and capping the 1997 season with a berth in the Alamo Bowl.

From 2000 to 2003, Ryan was the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots.[2] In 2003, the Patriots ranked first in the NFL in fewest points allowed 238 while ranking seventh overall in the NFL in total defense. Ryan's unit also contributed to one of the best scoring defenses in franchise history in 2001, as the Patriots allowed just 17 points per game and produced Pro Bowlers Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi.[4]

From 2004 to 2008, Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.[2] In 2006, the Raiders ranked third in yards allowed per game but a low eighteenth in points allowed per game.

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini named Ryan as defensive coordinator on January 14, 2009.

He was officially named the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator on January 19, 2011.[5] The Cowboys missed the playoffs again in 2011 and were ranked 14th in yards allowed per game and 16th in points allowed per game. Dallas missed the playoffs yet again in 2012. In 2012 Dallas was ranked 14th in yards allowed per game and 23rd in points allowed per game while only ranking 16th in QB sacks. On January 8, 2013, the Cowboys ended Ryan's employment with the franchise.[6]

In January 2013, Ryan agreed to become the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, but resigned less than five days later.[7] In February 2013, Ryan was hired as the New Orleans defensive coordinator, implementing a 3–4 defense to the team and scrapping their previous 4–3 defensive scheme.[8][9] [10] Ryan's defense finished well statistically in 2013, including 4th in fewest points per game and 2nd for fewest passing yards allowed. The year following, New Orleans was near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories (2014).

On November 16, 2015, the day after a 47–14 loss to the Washington Redskins, and with the New Orleans defense ranked last in the NFL, Ryan was fired. New Orleans defensive assistant coach Dennis Allen was appointed Defensive Coordinator following Ryan's dismissal.[11]

On January 10, 2016, the Bills announced that Rob Ryan would be joining Rex Ryan's staff as assistant head coach.[12]


  1. ^ "Riley-Ryan". Bowling Green (KY) Daily News. July 2, 1989. pp. 7B. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Jenkins, Lee (September 19, 2011). "Oh, Brother, What A Start: They're big, they're brash, and they live for the game. The Ryan twins—Rex of the Jets and Rob of the Cowboys—set the tone for the NFL season with a wild opening-week showdown". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-11-29. Rex was born five minutes ahead of Rob .... The Ryans are fraternal twins, but everyone figured they were identical. 
  3. ^ a b Merrill, Elizabeth (January 21, 2009). "Rex Ryan's swagger leads Jets". Retrieved January 21, 2009. 
  4. ^ Rob Ryan Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks -
  5. ^
  6. ^ Hanzus, Dan (2013-01-08). "Rob Ryan, Dallas Cowboys parting ways". National Football League. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "New Orleans Saints hire Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator". Times-Picayune. February 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ Rob Ryan to coach New Orleans Saints defense -
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ Yahoo Sports