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Farewell, Jeff Ryder

Chris DiGeronimo, Sports Editor

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For those who may not know, the man responsible for developing one of the best intramural sports programs in the country is leaving the University of New Haven. Jeff Ryder’s, Senior Assistant Director of Recreational and Competitive Sports, leadership the University has had tremendous success in both its recreational and club sports.

During Ryder’s first year at the University, the number of students involved in rec and club sports grew by 50 percent, while the number of participants grew by 47 percent. At the program’s peak, 30 percent of undergraduate students were engaged in either rec or club sports. The number of students from his start at the University grew by 16 percent, which comes out to about 1,000 more student participating than the year before his arrival.

Total participants from 2009 through 2017 grew about 200 percent, which is about 15,000 more participants over his eight year tenure. Under Ryder’s watch rec sports has gone from offering 24 sports to 50 sports annually. Rec sports was also recognized in both 2015 and 2016 in Bestcolleges.com as a top 50 college for intramural sports.

Club sports also have had a surge of success under Ryder’s leadership. Since 2013 there have been six Club sports inaugurated, and there will be more added in the future based on student interest.  

“My time with the University of New Haven was incredible. I could not have asked for a better chance to excel as a professional leading to this new opportunity” Ryder said. “The networking and collaboration with student organizations, administrative departments, and academic programs are unparalleled. We’ve been able to coordinate new programs and expand or add structure to existing ones. The University offers many ways for professional staff to continue to develop, get involved, and connect with the campus community.”

Ryder has accepted a position with Columbia University as the Director, Physical Education and Recreation and Associate in Physical Education.

“This is an excellent career opportunity and one I am very excited for. On a personal note, most students don’t know that my wife and I live in separate states. This move will allow us to be closer together as a family” Ryder said.

With Ryder’s departure, there may be some doubts as to whether the success of the REC Center can be sustained.

“The current team of professional staff (Ryan Hagen, Alycia Washington, and Bella Miceli) are extraordinary people and very talented individuals. While they search for a new professional to fill this position they will be working to keep the program at its current level and support the student staff of Competitive Sports Supervisors and Rec Sports officials along with Graduate Assistants. I believe the professional they choose will not only continue with the success of this program but will continue its expansion and diversity of sports” Ryder reassured.   

                  

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Farewell, Jeff Ryder