NEW ALBANY, IN (Dec. 3, 2013) – Former IU Southeast men’s and women’s tennis head coach Bill Ryall passed away Monday afternoon after a short illness. He was 73.
Ryall was hired in 1996 to run both the men’s and women’s tennis programs, which had been dormant since 1986. He coached the men’s program until 2001 and was at the helm of the women’s program until 2009.
He transformed the IU Southeast women’s tennis team into a NAIA national powerhouse winning 11 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, four NAIA Region XII championships, and three trips to the National championships.
“The IU Southeast Athletic Department has lost a dear friend and vital member of its staff,” IU Southeast Athletic Director Joe Glover said. “You will not find a stronger advocate for IU Southeast, the athletic department or its students. He was a great man and will be dearly missed.”
During his time coaching the Grenadiers, Ryall accumulated a record of 310-58 (84.2 percent). While his record at IU Southeast is impressive, it pales in comparison with his overall coaching record. Ryall began coaching tennis in the military in 1966. His overall record when combining his military, high school, and college tennis coaching experience is 815-167 (83.0 percent) in 42 years.
Five Grenadier players earned NAIA All-American or NAIA All-American Honorable Mention honors during Ryall’s tenure.
Ryall was named the KIAC Coach of the Year eight times and NAIA Region XII Coach of the Year three times.
He also was an adjunct professor at IU Southeast where he taught various courses during his tenure.
Prior to joining IU Southeast, Ryall worked as a teacher and administrator for the Department of Defense Overseas Schools in Europe. He lived in Germany, Norway, England and Belgium for 30 years before returning home to Indiana in 1995. A retired Army Colonel with a total of 38 years of active and reserve duty, he was a graduate of the Infantry School, Command & General Staff College, and the Army War College.
While serving his country, Ryall earned the Legion of Merit award and the German Army Cross of Honor, the highest award given by the German government to a foreign officer.
Ryall received a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in counseling from Indiana University, and did post-graduate work at the University of Oregon and at Cambridge and Oxford universities in England. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of New Albany, having served as club President, International Service Chair for club and district, and Assistant Governor, and he was the District Governor in 2008-09.
He also was a 2013 recipient of the Chancellor’s Medallion, the highest honor awarded by the Chancellor of IU Southeast.
Ryall is survived by his wife, Marty, his children, John Ryall and Jenny Ryall Kapszvkiewicz and four grandchildren.
Further details regarding services are pending. Details will be posted here when they become available.