Dad of Badgers hoops coach Bo Ryan passes away
Much of Wisconsin Badgers nation is mourning Friday after the beloved father of Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan died Friday morning.
It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of William F. Ryan, Sr. at 1am Aug 30th in Ft. Myers, Fla. "Butch" was 89.— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) August 30, 2013
Butch Ryan was a retired pipe fitter, a decorated World War II hero and one of the funniest storytellers you could ever meet.— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) August 30, 2013
RIP to the Greatest Grandpa ever...William F. Ryan SR. He's prob singing & dancing or shooting skyhooks in Heaven right about now #butchryan— Will Ryan (@CoachWillRyan) August 30, 2013
The Wisconsin Basketball Twitter account relayed much of how Ryan's dad taught him the game, and taught how to give to others through it.
In 1960, Butch Ryan founded a youth league for under-privleged kids in Ashton, Pa. which began with 28 kids but rose to well over 1,000.— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) August 30, 2013
Condolences came from around the basketball world.
A clear definition of a father and son best friendship was Butch and Bo Ryan. The love, respect and true admiration those 2 had was special.— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) August 30, 2013
Another description of Ryan's love from his dad came from 620WTMJ Badgers voice Matt Lepay on his blog about Ryan breaking the all-time wins record for the program on UWBadgers.com.
"(Ryan said) 'There is so much that goes into it that I'm so thankful for, from my family. And the fact that my...' Ryan needed three or four seconds to regain his composure before finishing the sentence. 'My parents are still with me and had a chance to watch a lot of these games, and a lot of those teams that we've had.'
"I still think of Ryan's first season, when the Badgers upset seventh-ranked Illinois, 72-66. Among those who came out on the floor was Bo's father, Butch, pumping his fist as he joined the team in celebrating a memorable victory. No doubt Butch and Louise are very proud."