By Kevin Eickman
As we continue to look at Milford alumni who have returned to coach at Milford, today we will take a look at one of perhaps one of the most overlooked players in Buccaneer history. In the magical fall of 2008, one that would see Milford win its sole State Championship, there were a multitude of star players on that squad. However, there were many players, who while they might not have put up flashy numbers, were the glue that kept that team together. Among them was Ryan Deeney, a fierce competitor on both offense and defense, who battled through numerous injuries that season to anchor an offensive line that was arguably the best in the program’s history. “That championship team was really something special. I was proud just to be a part of it,” Deeney said. “We had great runners on that team, guys like Brandon (LeGrand) and Chris (Drummond) plus so many other people who we could get the ball to, it was always a lot of fun. Every time I think of that team I really understand how special football can be. That’s why I think I will always be a part of it.”
Graduating from Milford in 2009, Deeney was selected as a Blue-Gold All Star Game player. It was a program that he always cared about and was thrilled to be a part of it “The great work that the DFRC (Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizen) does is something that has an impact up and down Delaware,” Deeney said. “Just to be considered for that great program was quite an honor, to play in the game was very special.”
In the fall of 2008 there were four games that stood out in Denney’s mind; surprisingly two of them were losses. “Key moments that really stick with me are those losses to Cape and Delmar. Our team didn’t get down on ourselves. We truly learned from those losses and regrouped. I’ll also never forget that home playoff game at a snow-covered Briggs Stadium and finishing my Milford football career with a great defensive team win in a packed-out Del State stadium,” Deeney said. The snow game at Milford was without a doubt the best the team played that season, and really stands out in the mind of Deeney. “It was crazy; we finished warm-ups and headed into the locker room to get into our game uniforms. When we came out, seeing the field all covered in white and the crowd was going nuts. There was nothing Wilmington Friends was going to be able to do to stop us that night.”
Following graduation from Milford, Deeney went on to Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, where he earned his degree in History, with a minor in Political Science. While at Wilkes, Deeney was also a four-year member of the football team, solidifying his desire to coach. “I really began to think about all the coaches who had helped me get to where I was, from being a little kid, to a grown man. So many had done so much for me, I really wanted to come back to Milford and be a part of the program,” Deeney said.
Besides coaching football, Deeney is also the head JV lacrosse coach, a sport which he picked up in high school. “Lacrosse was kind of in its early stages when I was here and it has been nice to see it continue to grow over time,” Deeney said. “When I see where we are today, compared to where we were ten years ago, it’s great.”
Speaking with Milford Head Football Coach, Shaun Strickland, he loves what Deeney brings to the Milford family. “Ryan is so into every aspect of the game. He coaches linebackers but he does so much more. He is a mentor, he is part of game planning and he is very calm and collected on the sidelines,” Strickland said. “That demonstrates confidence; he is a real teacher on the football field.”
Deeney is a Special Education teacher at Milford and is married to his wife Jordan, and they have a son named Maddox.