Patriots Hire Rob Ryan As LB Coach

Ian Logue
February 18, 2000 at 1:34 pm ET

FOXBORO, MA — The Patriots have completed their coaching staff after hiring Oklahoma State University defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who will now join New England as linebackers coach.

Ryan is returning to the NFL after coaching the Cowboys over the last three seasons. Last year, the Cowboys were ranked 10th in the nation in total defense and ninth in passing yards allowed, the highest totals during his tenure. During his tenure they were also continually ranked among the top schools in the nation. Ryan last coached in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals as defensive backs coach in 1994-95 where he coached with his father Buddy Ryan who was head coach at the time.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Ryan said about his venture back into the NFL. “I have really enjoyed my stay at Oklahoma State and I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to work for Bob Simmons. I’ve learned a lot from him.”

Upon his arrival at OSU in 1997, the Cowboys defense ranked at the bottom of the Big XII in most categories. Ryan’s impact with his attack-style defense found the ’97 Cowboys ranking in the nation’s top 20 in turnover margin, total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense. While Ryan is looking forward to returning to the NFL, he’s still going to miss the university.

“The last three years have been a lot of fun and I’ve come to love the people at OSU,” Ryan said. “I’m also proud of what we’ve accomplished. Our defenses have been nationally ranked each of the past three seasons.”

OSU head coach Bob Simmons will reportedly begin his quest to find a replacement for Ryan immediately, and told the media while the task will be difficult, he wishes Ryan the best.

“I’m very appreciative of the hard work and passion Rob Ryan brought to this staff,” said Simmons. “I had a tremendous amount of respect for him when he was hired and that respect has grown through the years. I wish Rob the very best.”

In addition to OSU and the Cardinals, Ryan’s coaching resume includes stops at Tennessee State, Ohio State, Western Kentucky and Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

As a player Ryan attended OSU for 1 year in 1984, and was an outside linebacker for Southwestern Oklahoma for three seasons. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern in 1987 and a master’s in sports management from Ohio State in 1988.

His Brother Rex is currently the defensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens.

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