This was not a decision made in haste.
“I decided this four years ago,” said Shirley Ryan, who announced her retirement as volleyball coach at Mount Vernon High School on Monday. “I decided when this group of kids came through, that I would see them through, then go on a different route for the rest of my life.”
Ryan submitted a letter of resgination with the school’s administration Monday morning.
As far as happy endings go, this is tough to top. The Mustangs won two consecutive state championships (Class 2A in 2009, 3A in 2010), and Ryan’s career record of 829-331-114 includes a 56-match win streak at the end.
“I have had a lot of cool things go my direction,” said Ryan, the school’s only volleyball coach.
Ryan, 64, began the program in 1972, “with our team team wearing gym shorts.” In her tenure, the Mustangs captured 15 conference championships (12 in the Eastern Iowa Hawkeye, three in the Wamac East Division). Mount Vernon reached the state tournament seven times, winning three titles (1984, 2009 and 2010).
She retired from teaching in 2002.