Freshman AD Series: Ryan Moreland

LightningDragon · March 22, 2024


By: Cole Mantell (@lightningdragon)

Ryan Moreland is a longtime friend and colleague. Of all the entries into this Freshman AD series, this might’ve been one of the hardest to write because of that. However, I think the best way to explain who Ryan Moreland is and how committed he is to this job is simply through his background.

Often, I ask when interviewing the new Athletic Directors for a story to humanize them. Who are they? What do they do outside of coaching? For Ryan, he is a former Army man who has a triple major degree in Journalism, Sports Administration, and Coaching Education. For this story, he recounted one of his many great Army stories. What struck me more than anything, however, is he made sure to point out the butt of the joke. It was about a soldier from Oklahoma. For the new AD of Texas, he sure as heck knows how to endear himself to his new fanbase. Especially after coming from a dynasty from the state next door that has caused the Longhorns their fair share of pain over the seasons in the CFSL.

Ryan has been on one team his entire time in the CFSL. Under first Houston Freeman, then Adam Smith, Oklahoma State has not been without Ryan Moreland as an assistant since Season 15. He has held almost every job on the Cowboys staff outside of AD. He started as the Recruiting Coordinator, then OC, then AHC, and finally Head Coach last season before his new job at Texas.

Of course, that long history with one team informs his strategy on and off the field. Oklahoma State has run a pass heavy scheme for a long time over multiple ADs. Ryan plans to continue this he tells me. Not that he won’t run, but passing is king for his offenses. On defense, he wants to generate pressure quickly with a good pass defense. That might be code for the popular 4-2-5 defensive scheme, or something similar. Speed was a word I heard multiple times in our conversation on what Ryan wants to build.

Ryan has a big task taking over for Justin Duke at Texas as well. Texas is fresh off another great regular season. The team is one of the most historic in the entire CFSL. But despite playing in the CFSL since Season 3 and winning six conference titles, the team has won the National Championship only once, and that was back in Season 5.

There’s been a lot of turnover in Austin recently, so now the question with Ryan isn’t if he is going to be the guy. The question is whether or not Ryan can be the guy to take Texas that one last step beyond contention and into champion status. That’s no small feat, but Ryan is one of the most active and well-known coaches around. If there is anyone in this freshman class who can handle the pressure of Austin and the Texas fanbase, it’s the guy who has been around champions his whole career. That’s his task, and he is well-suited for his new role moving forward.


Join the CFSL. Create your legacy.

Get Started