About Our Namesake

Billy Cleveland Ryan


Born in Vernon Jan. 2, 1940, Billy Cleveland Ryan graduated from Seymour High School in 1958, where he was All-District in football and basketball and All-State in football. He attended Texas Tech and North Texas State University, where he was captain of the 1963 Eagle football team.

Ryan received his Bachelor of Science degree in the spring of 1964. He was a member of the Geezles.

He joined the Denton school system in 1964 as B-team coach and health teacher. He became head football coach in 1969 and in 1976 became assistant principal.

Ryan was district Coach of the Year in 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973. He was area Coach of the Year in 1972. The Denton Sports Association honored him as Coach of the Year in 1972 as well. That marked the first time the high school had won a district title since 1928.

He married Dec. 27, 1961, to Jerry Ann Fairchild in Crowell. She also received her master’s degree in education at NTSU and was a teacher in Denton ISD for 31 years.

Ryan was a member of First Baptist Church, the Hi-Noon Lions and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. He held his position as Assistant principal for 11 years until his death in 1987.

That length of service and the honors he brought to the district should bring honor to his name. But it is the man Billy Ryan that generated the love and respect that led people to petition the school district to name the new high school for him.

Billy Ryan was not just a successful coach and educator; he was a successful human being. He is most remembered for being a good person who always had time for other people. His is a legacy of caring, consideration and a quiet respect for others. He served as model teacher and principal that all parents want for their children.
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