Athlete Bio

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Track (In)
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Track (Out)
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Richard Ryan

Class of 1952

Richard Ryan's lightning short speed and athleticism made him a cornerstone of the glorious Concord High School Class of 1952.

Dickie Ryan, Lyle Carlson, and Bob Zumwalt made up the fastest football backfield in the state. At 10.3 seconds in the 100 yard dash, Zumwalt was fast; but at the 10.2 second school record time, Ryan and Carlson considered him slow! Throw such a tandem in with Hall of Fame quarterback Leo McKenna, and you start to understand why the Concord football teams of this era won their games, including the 1951 Piedmont Bowl in Wilmington, North Carolina.

At 155 pounds, Ryan's speed easily got him around the corner on the quick pitch, but he could also hit hard from his cornerback and linebacker positions on defense. As a senior, Dick and his backfield mates were chosen to play On the Greater Lowell All Star team, and started as a unit. Lowell beat a powerful Greater Lawrence squad 6-0 in a hard-fought battle, and Ryan was given the Outstanding Player award. He was also clocked as the fastest man on either team.

Ryan was a versatile indoor and outdoor track performer during the winter and spring seasons, competing in the sprints, as well as the high jump, broad jump, and shot put. He was undefeated in dual meets in the 300, and won state championships in the 220, 300, discus, and half-mile relay (teaming with backfield mates Carlson and Zumwalt). When Coach Skip O'Connor entered his official scores in a national high school pentathlon competition, he came in second place to an athlete who later competed on the U.S. Olympic team.

Ryan went on to Boston College in 1952 with a football scholarship. After a year of freshman ball, his career was cut short by a medical condition and the Korean War. He served in Europe for two years and returned to study instrument-making at Wentworth Institute. He joined the Concord Fire Department in 1963 and was appointed Chief in 1978, a post he still holds. He lives in Concord with his wife, Judith. He has two sons, Michael and Matthew, two stepsons, Aaron and Yuri, and a stepdaughter, Tania.