Ryan Moon, Florida Tech’s newest women’s soccer head coach led his women’s team to a Regional Championship win.
Ryan Moon, Florida Tech’s newest women’s soccer head coach, sat down last week with me to discuss his journey as a player at Florida Tech along with memorable moments from his time coaching. Ryan began his journey as a Panther back in 2008, and throughout his three seasons as a player in the crimson and gray, Ryan started 42 of 43 games played. Coach Robin Chan saw him as such an influential player and natural leader, as he was captain for his 2009 and 2010 seasons. In his 2010 season, Ryan was named Second Team All-Sunshine State Conference after leading the Panthers to the SSC Tournament Final.
Although I am one of Moon’s current players, his time as a student Athlete at Florida Tech is still a mystery. He informed me that he was an undergraduate student studying Business Administration from 2008 to 2010 while he played. He continued with the team as a graduate assistant in 2011 and pursued his Master’s in Business Administration. Coach Moon went on to say that his favorite moment as a player was the 2010 Conference Semi-final. Florida Tech went into the game as major underdogs against Rollins University. As the game progressed Tech went down by a goal and had a man sent off the pitch so they were forced to play with only 10 men instead of the typical 11. However, a quick turn of events took place when Moon went forward for a corner kick and scored the equalizing goal! The tied game went to a penalty shoot-out where Moon scored the first PK. The Panthers went on to win the game and have the field rushed by students.
Center back, Ryan Moon, leading his team as captain in the 2010 season.
After hearing this amazing story I asked Moon if that feeling of accomplishment is something that drives him to push players to do their best. He responded by saying that it was almost the opposite. The feeling of almost winning the conference title but coming just short while knowing prior to the season he could have pushed himself harder and had a different result. He wants to push his player to reach their full potential so that they are able to have that feeling of success.
Next, I asked him if there were any coaches who greatly impacted his style of play. His heartfelt response was, ”My dad was my first coach. He taught me so much as a player but even more than that, how to love the game, I grew up just wanting to be like him.” Moon also expressed how working as an assistant coach under Robin Chan taught him how to take great time and care with players. He mentioned that every coach he worked with had an impact on his coaching style one way or another, whether it was learning something to do or not to do, it made him a better coach in the long run.
It seems as though all those lessons he had learned throughout the years greatly prepared him because when asked if he was nervous about going from an assistant role to head coach Moon said he was excited to bring to life the environment and culture he had been planning for a while. He said it was an experience that he felt prepared for. When moving from men to women he said he was a tad nervous about how receptive we would be to his style. But shout out to the Women’s team he said it was a great group who were open-minded and willing to work. I think I speak for the whole team when I say we are more than happy you made the switch.
Before leaving the Women’s Soccer Office I got Florida Tech Women’s Soccer Assistant and Goal Keeper Coach, Brooke Bradley’s opinion on Moon. She said what stands out to her is the environment he creates with players. There is trust and belief amongst the players and coaching staff that builds strong team chemistry.
Lastly, I asked Coach Moon if there was one thing he could be remembered for after his time at Florida Tech what would it be. His response, ”Obviously, winning is great but I want everyone to remember I really cared for my players and the school as a whole.” Coach Moon, you will definitely be remembered for that and more. Your team and the rest of the community can’t wait to see what else you do on Florida Tech’s Rick Stottler field!