One coach plus three teams equals plenty of victories


BP Photo by Ezra Fax

GAME TIME: Coach Ryan Coleman a play to football captain Jacob Dauer on the sideline during a break

By Eric Bazak, Editor in Chief

In just his second year with Shalhevet, Coach Ryan Coleman is serving as head coach for three separate Firehawk sports teams, following Colin Jamerson’s basketball resignation on Sep. 17.

He now juggles basketball — a big-time commitment spanning much of the year — with his other two responsibilities, flag football and baseball, which have seasons in fall and spring respectively. 

Managing different sports simultaneously, however, is nothing new for the coach.

“I feel like I’ve been playing and coaching multiple sports my entire life,” said Coach Coleman, who players know as Coach Ryan.  “I like variety, and basketball is probably my first passion so I’d always find enough time for that.” Football season, well underway by the time Coach Ryan was promoted in basketball, was the  new experience for him this year. The flag football team was undefeated in league play for the second consecutive year, capping off the season with a 15-14 victory in the Coastal League championship game .  Last year, the flag football team was led by former math and science teacher Mr. Christopher Buckley. After Mr. Buckley’s resignation last year and parent Charlie Weisel’s brief stint as interim coach, the school gave the nod to Coach Coleman at the start of this year. 

“He’s a great coach, he really knows what he’s doing,” defensive football captain Kian Marghzar said. “He puts a lot of faith in the leaders on this team to facilitate and perform their best. He already has a good relationship with the school and the players like him a lot, so it makes sense that the school hired him for football too.”

A sports junkie, Coach Coleman stated he mainly learned about football from watching NFL games on television. But that did not stop Mr. Schiff from believing that Coach Coleman was knowledgable enough to head the football team.  

 “He has an extensive background in many sports, including football,” Mr. Schiff said. “He holds conditioning practices for professional athletes, and we felt he would enhance the football program.” 

This is also Coach Ryan’s second year leading the baseball team. Last year, he led them to eight wins, including their first victory against the YULA Panthers since 2008. 

“Coach Ryan is somebody I look up to,” senior baseball player Josh Joffee said. “The baseball team is like family and we treat him with the respect that he deserves.” 

Mr. Schiff said Coach Ryan and the school will decide at the end of the year whether they will continue the current situation, according to Mr. Schiff. 

“We’d have to see how this year goes and take it from there,” he said. “If both Ryan and the school feel like the current situation works, I’d love to keep Ryan on as the coach for all three.”

For college Coach Ryan attended Sacramento State University, which offered him an athletic scholarship to play basketball, and he was also invited to play on the baseball team . A groin injury he suffered in the beginning of basketball season prevented him from playing either sport. After graduating, he had been training and coaching sports, mainly basketball, for 11 years. He coached at Calabasas High School for 5 years, followed by Newbury High School, and then worked at a company which trains professional athletes and kids, mainly teaching basketball, baseball, and beach volleyball. 

A commonality he uses with all sports is giving the players freedom to lead the team during games.   

“I really try with high school kids, especially on the varsity level, to empower them and let it be their team,” he said. “I try to guide them in the right direction but let them run the team. If I see they don’t do something right I’ll interject, but for the most part I try to let the kids run it as much as I can.”

Coaching three teams has allowed Coach Ryan to familiarize himself more with Shalhevet students, especially those who play for him in two or even three sports. Senior Seffi Arnan, one of two students who play for him in all three sports, said he was happy to play under him in so many activities. The other student to play all three sports is senior Elon Glouberman.  

“I like it a lot, he’s a great coach and a great person,” Seffi said.  “I now get to know him better. He knows a lot in every sport he coaches in and manages his time well.”

Coach Ryan also mentioned that he coaches each team uniquely depending on the team’s skill level and the sport.   

“The football team more than any other team I let them run themselves and police each other and hold each other accountable and make it their team since they were so successful last year and I tried to not get in the way of a god thing,” he said. “Basketball needs more guidance, strategy and adjustments during the game, and baseball is more trying to impress upon them a certain way that the game should be played. I stress that time after time in practice so by the time it gets to the game it became instinct for them to play that way and play aggressively.” 

What Coach Ryan loves most about working at Shalhevet is the respect he receives from students. 

“My favorite part is the level of respect that the kids give,” he said. “ When comparing it to coaching at Calabasas, you see a level of respect and discipline at Shalhevet that definitely reflects the job that the community and parents do in raising the kids.”