|Position:||Head Women's Water Polo Coach|
Arriving at the Institute in September of 2014, Ryan Pryor is poised for his fourth season at VMI as the team enters its seventh year of existence in 2017.
The 2017 season was a breakthrough year for both Pryor and the Keydets and the team amassed 22 wins for the year, 10 more than the previous season best from the 2013 season. Given the Institute's Nathaniel W. Pendleton award for excellence in coaching, Pryor led VMI to its first postseason appearance in program history as the Keydets qualified for the MAAC Tournament as a No. 3 seed. VMI also received its first national ranking in program history on April 19 as the Keydets earned a No. 25 ranking. For these accomplishments, Pryor was named the 2017 MAAC Coach of the Year.
During the season the Keydets defeated MAAC foes Marist (ranked No. 23) once and Iona College twice, both schools that VMI had never been defeated in the first five years of the program. Junior Shelby became the program's all-time leading career goals leader (207) after scoring 86 goals en route to First Team All-MAAC honors, while junior Natalie Rivas was named Second Team All-MAAC. He also coached freshman Isabel French to MAAC Rookie of the Year honors as she led the league in saves with 286 for the year.
He coached Barkley to Second Team All-MAAC honors in 2015 and 2016 as she led the team in goals both seasons. Over the past three years under Pryor's watch, nine Keydets have been recognized on the MAAC All-Academic team.
Pryor comes to the Institute after a brief stop in Providence, Rhode Island at Brown University. Prior to his time with Brown's program, he served as the acting head coach for men's and women's water polo at Connecticut College, stepping in midway through the 2014 season. During his tenure as the interim, the women's program captured the Collegiate Water Polo Association's Division III championship.
From July 2011 to April 2014, Pryor was the assistant coach for both programs in New London, Connecticut. In addition to organizing practices and designing the offensive and defensive structures for both programs, Pryor served as the primary recruiter, including initial contact, evaluation and arrangement of campus visits. He was an integral part of the programs going from 35 percent recruited student-athletes to over 82 percent, in addition to carrying the largest rosters in program history.
While at Connecticut College, Pryor saw both programs achieve a high level of success, both in the pool and out. Under his guidance, the men's program finished third in the CWPA Division III Championships in 2012 and earning the program's first-ever rankings, No. 10 in 2012 and No. 12 in 2013. The men's team was also ranked in the top 10 for team GPA all three seasons, including fifth in 2013.
On the women's side, the Camels won back-to-back conference championships in 2013 and 2014 while becoming the only Division III team to reach the CWPA Eastern Championships, finishing ninth in 2013 and eighth in 2014. The Camels had a potent offense under Pryor, leading Division III in scoring during those same seasons, earning Connecticut College its first rankings on the women's side, eighth in 2013 and ninth in 2014. The women's team was also ranked third in team GPA in 2012 and held the top spot in 2013.
Before Connecticut College, Pryor was the head coach for the University of Michigan women's club water polo team. His duties included organizing and distributing practice plans, running drills and other tasks to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of practice. The squad went 27-1 during his tenure as the club coach, claiming the Big Ten championship and finishing third in the country among club teams.
A standout in his own right, Pryor was a four-time All-Big Ten selection in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, while earning CWPA All-America honors in his final season. Pryor has four years of coaching experience at the high school level as well, leading those teams to program records for wins in each season.
Pryor has earned three degrees from the University of Michigan, graduating in 2007 with a pair of bachelor of arts degrees in English and communications studies. In May 2010, Pryor completed his juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.