Press "Enter" to skip to content

LIU promotes long-time administrator Ryan Kelly to Director of Athletics

by Brendan Kaufman, staff writer

Courtesy of Adam Rubin

A member of the athletics department since December 2021, Ryan Kelly was promoted to Director of Athletics this past August.

Kelly began his work in college sports as an assistant coach for Coastal Carolina before working his way into recruitment. He then served as assistant director of football operations at Temple University in 2015 and the associate director for football operations at Baylor from 2016 to 2018. He would then take the position of football director for the American Athletic Conference in 2018, where he would remain until 2021.

“I started my career as an assistant coach for a D3 school, worked my way into recruiting at Coastal Carolina,” Kelly said “I spent some time in football operations at Temple, Baylor and the American Athletic Conference and in the American Athletic Conference I got more into sports administration.”

Kelly describes the work he did with these programs as taking care of everything off the field.

“ I like to say it as everything that happens outside of the playing field. It’s the budgeting, the scheduling, the logistics, recruiting, basically everything that happens on the day-to-day to make the program run smoothly,” Kelly said.

After working as an administrative assistant with the AAC for 4 years, he took his talents to LIU in 2021. He was at the forefront of the effort to revitalize and renovate the school’s athletic facilities and improve the overall infrastructure of areas such as the locker rooms and the medical options. He was also responsible for the scheduling for the football team, helping LIU get opportunities to play nationally recognized opponents such as Kent State, Baylor and Ohio University.

Kelly’s aspirations as the Director of Athletics are to not only improve the program itself, but also the people who participate in the program. Whether it be the athletes or his own assistants, he wants to ensure that he can improve the experience for them in some way.

“I think the opportunity that I have in front of myself is to have a positive influence on all our student-athletes and coaches. That’s my goal first and foremost. I also want to be able to work with them on a day-to-day basis to provide resources they would need to be successful and continue to ensure that they all have a positive experience here at LIU,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s other goals for the athletic program at LIU are directed toward the student-athletes and the growth of all of the campus sports. He wants to ensure that they not only improve at their respective sport but also improve themselves as people and prepare them for life after they graduate from the university.

“You want to see growth in every area rather than just focusing on one,” Kelly said. “Most importantly, I want to see the impact that we’re having on the student-athletes to be able to have them all go on to be people that contribute to the community, people that go on to be great adults, great husbands, great wives, mothers, fathers and be able to come back and really reflect on their experiences here so that we know that we’ve really hit home to them and that we’re doing the best that we can for them to give them a great experience.”

Kelly pinpoints the origin of this goal to former Director of Athletics, Bill Martinov, who now serves as the Chief of Alumni Engagement and Athletics Advancement.

“It’s a line I got from Bill Martinov about how it’s a four and forty-year commitment, right? We have four years to prepare them for the next forty years of their life, so to see that we can give them the skills and the resources to help them grow and become great adults and great citizens and for them to go out into the community and make us proud. That’s the most important thing for us,” Kelly said

As for the program itself, Kelly believes the sports programs at LIU are poised to compete at a national level and get an opportunity to compete for an NCAA championship. It likely won’t be long before that future becomes a reality for Ryan Kelly and the LIU Sharks.

“I think we’re in a position now but we will definitely be in a position in the next couple of years where all of our sports teams will be competing for conference championships and ultimately, NCAA championships. Obviously, the biggest part is winning that conference championship to get that automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and I think we have a great opportunity now within the next couple of years where all of our programs can compete at a national level. We had six teams go to the NCAA tournament last year, which was great, and I expect there will be more next year,” Kelly said. “the more we can provide resources to help with recruiting and being able to grow the program and get the scheduling on a national level to get the brand out in the community to really establish ourselves as a top tier athletics program. That’s what will set us in a position to be really successful moving forward.”

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *