SARASOTA, Fla. - As we told you on Friday, the Sarasota Sailors hired a new man to coach their football team for the future. But he is not such a new man, and that is part of the reason he was hired.
When Brian Ryals was introduced as the new head football coach at Sarasota High School last week, it was the culmination of a seed that was planted by his older brother Leroy.
"I never even knew this is what I wanted to do, but he inspired me," says Ryals.
Leroy was the head coach of Booker High at the age of 24, and then he went on to college, where he coached at LSU under Nick Saban and USF under Jim Leavitt. Now, after 17 years as an assistant, his little brother Brian now takes the reins of his own team.
"It was something that was easy. He has been an assistant for 17 years and he knows the area. He knows the kids," says Sarasota Athletic Director Clyde Metcalf.
"Now that the day is here, I am excited. This is home. I feel relieved," says Ryals.
Besides his football knowledge, Metcalf knew that Ryals has also built a rapport with his charges over the years. Something that will help him move forward.
"What he does is build a relationship. He wants to know his players, know the whole person," says Metcalf.
In fact, in discussing his relationship building, Ryals brought up a quote that he often repeats: "They never care about what you know until they know you care."
His players will find that he cares, and knows a whole lot.