A career in football as a quarterback was unexpectedly killed after a
poor senior season at
Ryan talked about his decision to retire from professional
basketball. "I did it for seven
years, and when I came home in May, I really didn't know if that was what I
wanted to do anymore. I'll be
turning 30 in April, and I knew my career would be winding down. Also, I had my first child in
February. I only wanted to go back
to a couple of places, namely
Fletcher's professional basketball career could double as a season on
"The Amazing Race" television show.
Ryan rattled off the names of all the places he has played. "I played in
With Fletch either emotionally or physically at every
stop along the way was his wife Sarah, who he originally met at
Having a professional basketball career was the furthest thought from
Ryan's mind when he entered his senior year as a Middletown Middie. Ryan talked about that senior
season. "I was always a football
player. Growing up in
As big a disappointment as football was, basketball season was just the
opposite. "Before I knew it, I
started putting up really good numbers in basketball season, and we were
winning. All the failure I had in
football changed into success with basketball. I went from wanting to play college
football to wanting to play college basketball. Before I knew it, I was being recruited
by everybody." Ryan said he turned
down scholarship offers from
As a Bearcat, Ryan was part of five great
There are a lot of fond memories for Ryan with one notable
exception. "We had that one great
year that ended with great disappointment when Kenyon broke his leg." The Bearcats were 28-2 when Martin broke
his leg in a first round C-USA tournament loss to
Despite all the championships, Fletch will always be remembered for one
shining moment in
Life can draw people in many different directions, but Ryan still talks with many of the old Bearcats. "I see Keith Gregor and Bob Brannen. I still talk with Jackson Julson and have played against Jermaine Tate a few times overseas. I talk to Terrence Davis and run into Rub (Ruben Patterson). He still lives around here. Corrie Blount actually lives across the street." Can you imagine a driveway pick-up game with Blount and Fletcher?
Ryan was recruited by John Loyer but was actually coached by Mick Cronin
and spoke about the present UC head coach.
"I was there for three years with Mick. He was my big man coach my junior
year. Mick is the definition of the
American dream. He's worked his way
up the ladder. He was the video
coordinator when I first knew him.
Then he became an assistant coach.
He eventually became the head coach at
Fletch also knows the tough situation Coach Cronin inherited. "If there's a tougher job out there, I don't know about it. I don't think it could have been any tougher for him. The circumstances of who he's replacing, the legacy of the program, the talent pool left behind and entering the BIG EAST make this as tough a job as anyone could have been handed."
With professional basketball in his rearview mirror, Ryan is pursuing a second career as a financial advisor. He is still working on getting all the paperwork finalized but is looking forward to helping Bearcat fans and others in handling their finances. Bearcat Insider will give further details on contacting Ryan when they become available some time in January.