Ryan Pratt is scheduled to begin hissecond season as an assistant coach with the men's soccer programat Virginia Commonwealth University.
"Ryan has worked tirelessly to make himself intoboth a successful coach as well as a successful player and I expectthose qualities as well as his personal character to be a real plusfor our current and future student athletes here at VCU,”said head coach Dave Giffard. “I think thelevel of assistant coaches that we were able to add to the staffspeaks volumes about the direction that this program is headed andthe support and vision of our administration here at VCU."
Prior to joining the VCU Athletic Staff, Prattserved as the head coach at the University of Montevallo, aDivision II powerhouse in Alabama for nine seasons.
“The vision that Coach Giffard and theAthletic Department have for this program is unparalleled and isabsolutely why I wanted to become a member of this staff," Prattsaid. "I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie aheadand to be a part of the resurgence of this program.”
During his nine seasons with the Falcons, Prattelevated their program to the national spotlight, postingdouble-digit wins in his past six seasons and seven straightwinning seasons. He is the program’s leader with 99 wins andposted a 78-32-7 (.697) record over his final six years withUM.
UM reached the NCAA Tournament four times (2004,2006, 2007, 2008) under Pratt and reached the GSC ConferenceTournament during all nine of his years. The Falcons reached theGSC Final in five of his last seven years, including winning thetournament in 2004.
The national spotlight came calling in 2007 whenhe led UM to the program’s first-ever NCAA Division IIRegional Championship and advanced to the National Semifinals ofthe NCAA Championship. The Falcons finished the season rankedfourth in the country. It was one of five years that UM appeared inthe top-25 poll under Pratt’s guidance.
Along with the program’s success cameindividual player development. Under Pratt’s tutelage, 45players earned all-conference accolades, three players were namedGSC Player of the Year, 21 earned All-South Region honors, 14 werenamed to the All-Academic team and four were named NSCAA/adidasAll-Americans. He also helped Melford James, Jr. develop into aMajor League Soccer draft pick when the Chicago Fire pickedselected him in the 2008 supplemental draft.
Prior to his time at UM, he spent one season asan assistant coach at the University of Alabama-Huntsville andthree seasons as an assistant with the University ofAlabama-Birmingham women’s soccer program.
His knowledge is not limited to the coachingside as he was a four-year player at UAB from 1993-96. He helpedthe Blazers to back-to-back conference championships in 1994 and1995, along with their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in1994. He also spent five years playing at the semi-professionallevel for the Nashville Metros (two years) and the Alabama Saints(three years).
The San Jose, Calif., native earned hisbachelor’s degree in broadcast communications, with a minorin sociology, from UAB in 1998.