Longtime coach and athletic director Marty Ryan dies

Rob Wolfe, Portland Press Herald, Maine
·3 min read

Feb. 21—Marty Ryan, a longtime southern Maine athletic director and statewide advocate for interscholastic athletics, died last week, the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association said Saturday.

The MIAAA, where Ryan served as executive director for decades, confirmed his passing on Twitter. Beyond his work in statewide interscholastic sports, Ryan was athletic director for high school sports in Kennebunk and Wells for a combined 29 years, and was named Athletic Director of the Year in 2005 by the NIAAA, the MIAAA's national counterpart.

"The Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association grieves today with the news of the passing of our former Executive Director Martin Ryan," the MIAAA said Saturday night. "Marty's impact upon Maine high school athletics has been substantial throughout his illustrious career."

Other Maine institutions mourned Ryan on social media this weekend.

"Marty Ryan was everywhere in Maine athletics for years and years and it is sad to think that he is gone," Bill Green, a retired Maine broadcast reporter, said on Twitter Saturday. "A great guy."

Marty Ryan was everywhere in Maine athletics for years and years and it is sad to think that he is gone. Longtime leader of the MIAAA. @KennebunkAD @wellshsAD A great guy. https://t.co/GDrXbMnq8A

— Bill Green (@billgreensmaine) February 21, 2021

The Maine Sports Hall of Fame hailed Ryan's work on numerous boards and committees at a state and national level, and remembered him as "a great contributor to Maine athletics."

Raised in Baldwinville, Massachusetts, Ryan showed an early interest in sports at Narragansett High School. He later taught at his alma mater, and began coaching: football, basketball and baseball.

Ryan arrived in Wells in 1980, serving as athletic director there for two decades until moving to Kennebunk High School. He retired in 2009, but kept up his statewide duties with the MIAAA, and also served on the NIAAA's nationwide wrestling committee.

At the time of his retirement, Ryan said he hoped to build a mentorship program for young athletic directors.

"An AD knows what another AD is going through," he said at the time. "We're hoping to have an older AD assigned to a younger AD. I hope to do some consulting to help a younger AD get through the first semester, or first year. Those are the kinds of things I'd like to do."

He also remained a fixture of the Maine wrestling scene, serving as a regional and state meet director for many years. In 2018, the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted Ryan as a member of its class of that year.

"It's really an honor," he said at the time. "It's a real honor to be recognized for the work we've done for a long time in Maine. I realize that (making a) hall of fame comes with longevity, but I respect that a great deal. It's been a love of mine to be managing wrestling tournaments (in Maine)."

This story will be updated.