"Shocked": Colorado Fires Ryder
For the third time in as many years, the University of Colorado, which participates in the MCLA, will be searching for a new head coach.
Mike Ryder, who was hired in the middle of the 2010 season after Pete Stevenson was fired, was notified that he would not be returning as the head coach in a meeting on Thursday morning with Kris Schoech, the director of club sports at the Boulder, Colo., institution.
"I was informed this morning that they wouldn't be bringing me or my assistant coaches back next season," said Ryder. "I was just as shocked as many people are. It has been a long day of figuring out what is next."
Ryder was in his first full season as the head coach of the Buffaloes after taking over for Stevenson midway through last year. He guided CU to a quarterfinals appearance in the MCLA national tournament last spring, but the No. 7 Buffaloes were upset in the first round this year by Boston College.
Unlike his predecessor, who was ousted at the behest of the Colorado players, Ryder said the decision to fire him rested solely with the club sports director.
"I can definitely say that there are a lot of alumni, along with current and former players, who are not happy with the situation," said Ryder. "I emailed the team and let them know what happened and I've received a number of emails from parents and players who were very shocked at the situation and have done what they could to not have this outcome happen."
While he would not go into detail of the specific transgressions that led to his dismissal, Ryder said it boiled to "administrative reasons."
"There were some minor things that were bumps in the road in running an MCLA program for the first time, but definitely nothing of a major scale that would affect the program immediately or in the future," he said. "We felt like we built a nice program over the past couple of years."
Ryder did confirm that it had nothing to do with any disciplinary problems with the team.
"We never got in trouble," Ryder said. "I know in years past we've had some run-ins like other teams have, but a lot of ours guys did a lot of good things. We've been on the road a lot and we've been extremely well-behaved."
Ryder feels Schoech could have made his concerns known without terminating the entire staff.
"What I think a club sports director would do is say, 'Hey, there were some things we ran into this year and let's try to improve them next year.' It was nothing major. There were a couple of things that were time sensitive and getting back to people in time, but it's tough to juggle those things. In the end, we got everything done we needed to get done. We're just kind of upset that we won't be able to continue it."
A 2008 graduate of Salisbury (Md.), Ryder played three years for the Sea Gulls. After relocating to Boulder, Ryder was the defensive coordinator at Boulder High School before signing on to become the defensive coordinator for Colorado – then coached by Stevenson – in 2010. He went 4-1 after being elevated to the head coach spot last year, which included snapping Michigan's 49-game win streak. CU finished 11-6 this year.