Western Michigan alumnus Ryan Manning enters his ninth season as an assistant coach with the Broncos and his sixth season as associate head coach. Manning has served in a variety of roles within the program, including being the Broncos’ recruiting coordinator.
Manning has been an assistant for Colleen Munson in every one of her years as a head coach after spending five seasons as an assistant at East Carolina.
Manning has been instrumental in helping WMU to eight straight 20-win seasons for the first time in program history, and has helped the Broncos to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2008 and 2011. The 2008 Broncos went on to win two matches in the NCAA Tournament over Dayton and No. 16 Tulane to reach the round of 16 for the first time since 1987 and fifth time in school history.
In 2011, Manning helped lead the Broncos to a 24-9 season and an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, where the Broncos took on the #11 Washington Huskies in the first round, hosted in Minneapolis. The season was the seventh consecutive 20-win season for the Broncos, the first time in program history the team has recorded the feat. Most recently, the Broncos won their fourth Mid-American Conference West Division title with Manning on the sidelines, finishing 13-3 in MAC play in 2012 to bring home the banner.
As the Broncos’ recruiting coordinator he has helped prepare WMU for immediate yet sustained success, with ability to boast two MAC Freshmen of the Year in Jessica Brown (2009) and Terin Norris (2011); in addition, junior libero Lena Oliver has posted two of the top-five single season digs totals, including the record, in her first two years at WMU.
The 2006 recruiting class earned Prepvolleyball.com Highest Honorable Mention honors, with three members of that class starting as freshmen. Katie Eberling and Caitlin Strimel earned MAC All-Freshman Team honors in 2006 and Michelle Moore was First Team All-MAC in 2007 and 2008. He has gone on to help bring in 2008 Second Team All-MAC middle blocker Jaime Gotham and 2007 MAC All-Freshman Team outside hitter Allyson Doyle.
Moore went on to set a new school record in career kills, Strimel set a new school record in career digs and Eberling set a new school record in career kills-digs double-doubles. The Broncos’ 2009 recruiting class received High Honorable Mention and the 2010 class was rated as Highest Honorable Mention.
As an assistant coach at ECU (2000-04), Manning served as recruiting coordinator, scouted opponents and served as the director of volleyball camps that were attended by over 200 athletes each year.
In 2000, Manning helped East Carolina to its first winning record since 1995. The team went 17-13 and finished third in the Colonial Athletic Association and ranked sixth regionally, the first regional ranking in school history.
ECU made the move up in competition to Conference USA in 2001 and Munson and Manning guided the team to the Conference USA Tournament in their first season in the league.
A native of Woodridge, Ill., Manning spent one year as a volunteer assistant at Western Michigan alongside Munson in 1999. In that season, WMU went 25-7 overall and 15-3 in the Mid-American Conference, while advancing to the MAC Tournament championship match.
Manning was also active with the WMU men’s club volleyball team for four seasons as president, captain and coach during his career. He was an accomplished player on the squad as he was a three-time all-conference selection and was named to the All-Midwest 10 team. He was team and Midwest 10 League MVP for WMU in 2000. Since returning to WMU, Manning has helped coach the club team each of the past two seasons.
As a high school coach, Manning led the Portage (Mich.) Northern High School junior varsity to a 118-10 record over two seasons (1997-98), including two league titles and one undefeated season.
He also has been a successful club coach for the Kalamazoo Dead Frogs Junior Volleyball Club. He led the 17s to a fifth-place finish and the 16s to a ninth-place finish at the national championships. Two of his players earned All-America honors at the national tournament. Manning resumed his duties coaching the Dead Frogs upon his return to Kalamazoo.
Manning also has international coaching experience after going to Osaka, Japan, in January of 2004 to work with the Sakai Blazers, a men’s professional team consisting of five Olympians (among them was Brook Billings of the USA) coached by Manning’s high school club coach, Gordon Mayforth.
Manning is a 2000 graduate of Western Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in advertising. He attended Downers Grove (Ill.) South High School and was an all-area volleyball first team selection and a member of the Mizuno All-Star Team as a senior.
Manning and his wife, Brandy, are the parents of Isabelle, Vienna, and Treyden. The family resides in Portage.