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Ryan Nunamaker Steps Down as Head Coach at Parkland

on Fri, 03/31/2017 - 17:00

My brother Ryan announced to his team after states that he was stepping down as the head wrestling coach at Parkland HS.

The local media learned about it this week (WFMZ TVMorning Call, Express-Times, and commentary from the Express-Times on the state of wrestling in the EPC given his resignation).

I thought the Morning Call photo of him was great - showed in expression how much it meant to him to see his kids succeed.

Ryan pursued a path, that frankly, I was afraid to take. He followed in our father's footsteps, becoming a teacher and head wrestling coach. I was "afraid", because I felt that the expectation and pressure of fans, media, etc. to "be" our father as a coach and person would be over-whelming. It would become a no-win situation. How could one possibly accomplish as much or more on or off the mat as he did?

Following Ryan's very successful career in college at NC State during which he was a three time NCAA tournament qualifier, two time ACC tournament runner-up, and his team won the ACC Championship, he got involved in teaching and coaching.

After a stop in Baltimore, he returned to the Lehigh Valley and eventually became the head coach at Parkland High School for the 2004-2005 season.

In his first season as head coach the team went 7-8. They then had 12 straight winning seasons and four times they posted 20 or more dual meet wins.

In his sixth year coaching, the 2009-10 season, the team won the District XI AAA tournament championship. The title made history as it was the first ever for Parkland and the first from a team outside of Northampton County since Allen in 1967. They also finished second in the District and State Dual Meet Tournaments.

In 2011, Ryan was inducted into the District XI Wrestling Hall of Fame as a competitor and coach. The same year Michael Ottinger of Parkland was named the AAA Wrestling Scholar-Athlete.

From 2010 to 2015, Parkland made the finals of the District XI AAA Dual Meet tournament five out of six seasons. 

2012 saw the team claim a Regional title and 2013 a second District title. The team finished first or second at Regionals for four straight years during this period.

Ryan finished his coaching career with a 211-71 dual meet record. He coached two wrestlers, Mike Ottinger and Ethan Lizak to three state titles. In 13 years, he coached 13 wrestlers to 100 or more career victories, and had 15 District Champions, 13 Regional Champions, and 18 State Medalists.

This March, following the PIAA State Tournament, Parkland graduate Ethan Lizak, wrestling for Big 10 power Minnesota, advanced to the NCAA Division I finals. He faced Lehigh University's Darian Cruz, from Bethlehem Catholic. It was the first all District XI final in NCAA history. It was an amazing match (you can watch it here) that Cruz won in the end.

Ryan will continue to teach at Parkland. I'm quite sure he will continue to care, work and support his students in and out of the classroom. I'd also be surprised if he is kept off the mat for too long. In both coaching and teaching, I can definitely say that he has lived fully up to our father's reputation. And that is certainly an accomplishment. 

Congratulations on all of your coaching success Ryan. Jill, Lex, Liv and all of the family couldn't be more proud of what you've accomplished wrestling, coaching, and teaching. We are sure there is much more to come!