Most pro football teams and coaches would consider it a thrill to win the Super Bowl once in their lifetime. But to compete and win it twice in four years is a feat that makes some fans start talking “dynasty.”
With the New York Giants’ 21-17 win over the New England Patriots on Feb. 5 the Giants are among the elite 10 teams that have played in the Super Bowl five or more times. They also beat the Patriots in 2008 (17-14) and won Super Bowls in 1987 and 1991. One person helping contribute to the team’s two most recent Super Bowl victories is Sean Ryan ’94, the Giants wide receivers coach.
Ryan began his coaching career at Clinton Central School during his junior and senior years at Hamilton. He served as the co-head coach and offensive coordinator of the junior varsity team.
Ryan joined the Giants organization in 2007 and is in his second season as the team’s wide receiver coach; he previously spent three years as the team’s offensive quality control coach. He played defensive back and outside linebacker at Hamilton, where he majored in American studies.
Before joining the Giants, Ryan was football recruiting coordinator and an assistant football coach at Harvard University.
Ryan was profiled in a New York Times article (2/1/12) titled “Giants Receivers Coach Traces Success to Ivy League.” Ryan reflected on what he learned in his time at Harvard. “The Ivy League doesn’t have all the hoopla of the N.F.L., but that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious.” He added, “I think a lot of the skills I built there have helped me succeed in my job here.”
The Times article continued, “In particular, Ryan said, his ability to relate to players — to connect with them on a human level and as a teacher — has been important with the Giants, especially because the team’s three top receivers are all 25 or younger.”
“But on a coaching staff with several intense personalities, Ryan’s light touch with his players distinguishes him… and Ryan is not spared when it comes to the ribbing. We don’t talk about the Ivy League stuff,” (Giants wide receiver) Ramses Barden said. “But we do get on him because he used to play defensive back when he was growing up. I mean, he played D.B.? Come on. What’s he know about wide receivers?”
Prior to his tenure at Harvard, Ryan was an assistant coach at Columbia University for three seasons. In 2003 and 2004, he was the running backs coach and special teams coordinator. The following season, Ryan coached the quarterbacks.
Before coaching at Columbia, Ryan spent two years as a graduate assistant at Boston College, where he worked primarily with the wide receivers. He served as the running backs coach at Colgate in 2000, a graduate assistant at the University at Albany in 1998-99 and the quarterbacks coach at Siena for a season.