WILLIAM F. RYAN
1982 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Bill was educated in the Pawtucket School System, swimming competitively for Pawtucket High School and the Pawtucket Boys’ Club. Upon graduation from Pawtucket High, Bill attended Ohio State University, where he starred as a member of the swimming team. He was a member of the Ohio State team which accomplished the feat of being the first collegiate team in history to win the “grand slam” of swimming at the time, winning the National NCAA; National AAU Indoor and National AAU Outdoor championships; as well as winning the Big Ten Championship that same year. In AAU competition, Bill was a member of the All-American team in the 150 yard backstroke. He was the Junior National Champion in the 150 yard individual medley, as well as winner of numerous Rhode Island and New England AAU championships. During WWII, Bill served as Captain in the Marine Corps in the Pacific combat areas. After completing his service and collegiate days, Bill served as American Red Cross Safety Service Field Administrator in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and New England. In 1952 he became Special Service Director for the Providence Chapter of the American Red Cross. During this same period, Bill served as Director of the Red Cross National Aquatic School in West Virginia for two years. in 1955 Bill was appointed Department Chief of Parks and Recreation for the State of Rhode Island. Under his guidance, Rhode Island now has one of the finest lifeguard programs in the United States. In 1972 Bill was appointed Chief of the Department of Parks and Recreation, now under the Department of Environmental Management. At the present time, Bill is President of the National Association of State Park Directors.