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Highland Hires Held as Head Football Coachpublished November 29, 2011
Highland Hires Held as Head Football Coach
Highland Community College officials have announced the hiring of Ryan Held as the head football coach for the Scotties. Held, a native of Overland Park, most recently served as the offensive coordinator at #3 nationally ranked Butler Community College.
“Highland is committed to winning,” said Held. “We will run a first class program where student-athletes can come and have a jumping board, both academically and athletically, to find the four-year environment that fits them.”
An outstanding athlete at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Held then played at the University of Nebraska as a wide receiver and quarterback, earning three conference and two national championships. As an undergraduate assistant in 1997, he once again helped the Huskers win a national championship.
Held then became a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee, where he helped the Volunteers to an SEC and national championship in 1998.
“I will hire a staff that will coach, teach, and mentor young men on how to play the game of football the right way,” noted Held. “We will work diligently to change the Highland brand into a place of destination for young men. I really don’t care what the past has been; we will turn this thing around. It will happen with hard work and faith.”
Held’s first head coaching position came at NAIA Peru State College (Nebraska) in 2001. His team finished second in the conference and won the Wheat Bowl that season.
In 2002, Held became the head coach at NCAA Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State University which had the longest losing streak in the NCAA and only 17 players in the program when he took over. Held led the program to back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than 15 years.
Held then moved on to Southwestern Oklahoma State University, which was the doormat of the Lone Star Conference. Within two years, Held led his team to the 2007 North Division title, becoming the North Division Coach of the Year in 2006. Southwestern was named one of the top 10 most improved programs in the country in 2006.
With Held as the offensive coordinator at Butler this year, the Grizzlies finished the 2011 season as the Jayhawk Conference and Region VI champions. Held’s offense finished second in the nation with a 513.7 yards per game average.
At Blue Valley North, Held lettered in three sports. As a senior in 1993, he led the state of Kansas in receiving yards and earning 6A All-State honors. That same year, he was named an All-Metro defensive back and was selected to play in the Shrine Bowl and the Kansas-Missouri All-Star game as a senior.
Held is engaged to Katie Herbst and has a 9-year-old daughter, Rhylan.
By the Numbers: Ryan Held
Record since 1993 as a collegiate player and coach: 125-78
4 NCAA Division I national championships
71 All-Conference players as a head coach
17 Academic All-Conference players as head coach, 1 academic Player of the Year
1 Region VI Championship
Bachelor’s Degree: Community Health (1998) Nebraska
Master’s Degree: Sport Management (2001) Tennessee