Bruce Lussier is retiring after 11 seasons as Father Ryan’s head football coach, according to Jim McIntyre, president.
Lussier arrived at the school in 2005 and took the Irish to the state semifinals in the rugged Division II-AA two times, in 2007 and 2009. His coaching career began in East Tennessee where he led Halls High School and later Oak Ridge High School to prominence in the state. His career head coaching record stands at 130-88.
McIntyre said that Lussier will continue as chairman of the Health and Wellness Department at the school and will maintain his teaching schedule through the end of the school year. The school is forming a search committee immediately, led by athletic director Pat Lawson, to find the next head coach. Mark Williams, assistant head football coach and offensive coordinator, will serve as interim head coach during the process.
In making the announcement today, McIntyre said that Lussier has always provided the Irish with a presence. “Every day since his arrival on this campus in 2005, Bruce has brought a confidence, a commitment and a deep knowledge of the game to this program. He has helped to develop young men, both on and off the field, providing them an example of character that has always complemented this school and our teaching mission. We are grateful for his leadership over the past decade and wish him only the best.”
Lussier said that the decision to step down felt right. “This is a wonderful school and an exceptional environment, and I am going to miss working with these students and watching them grow. And I’ll miss greatly the opportunity to teach alongside my fellow coaches and faculty members. But I think the time is right for a new leader to take the reins of this historic football program and lead it to a new level of success.”
After beginning his head coaching career at Knoxville Halls in 1979, Lussier was a coordinator and assistant head coach before taking over as head coach at Oak Ridge High School in 1999, reaching two state semifinals in the 5-A division of the TSSAA.
About Father Ryan
Father Ryan High School provides college preparatory education along with spiritual and community service experiences to over 955 students in grades 9-12. Last year, Ryan’s graduating class received over $20 million in scholarship offers and currently attend 71 institutions in 36 states. More information is available at www.fatherryan.org.