Brian Rector is excited about his next challenge as the new head football coach at Father Ryan High School.
Rector, who led Ravenwood High School to a state championship in 2005, will guide the Irish through the tough Division II, facing the state’s private school powerhouses. “People have described it as the SEC of football in Tennessee,” Rector said. “I’m excited to be at the highest level of competition. To me that’s fun.”
Father Ryan President Jim McIntyre announced Rector’s hiring on Feb. 8. Rector, who succeeds Bruce Lussier who announced his retirement as Ryan’s head coach after 11 seasons in December, will officially begin his new job on Monday, Feb. 15.
“Our search process produced exceptional people, but the committee and our administrative staff found a special person in Brian,” McIntyre said. “He has distinguished himself as a coach at the top levels in the state and has shown at each place a gift for developing his players as strong athletes and exceptional people. He is familiar with the school, and he embraces our culture and our commitment to an outstanding and successful experience for all of our students. It is a combination that fits perfectly for Father Ryan, and we are pleased to welcome Brian and his family to Father Ryan.”
Rector’s nephew, Andrew Rector, was a standout safety at Father Ryan who graduated in 2015 and earned a football scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where he recently completed his freshman season.
“I was familiar with (Father Ryan) obviously with my family connections,” said the coach, who comes to Father Ryan from Centennial High School. But even before his nephew enrolled at Father Ryan, Rector was aware of the school and its tradition, he said.
“To me it’s a legacy school. The history, the foundation, the commitment to academics and athletics, the administration. All of that would appeal to any coach,” Rector said. “Father Ryan has an amazing aura around it and a personality. It’s a special place.”
Rector, 41, has built a career record of 84-42 in his 10 years of coaching. He stepped down from the head coaching position at Centennial late last year after leading the school to the first Class 5A semifinal game in the program’s history and compiling a 41-20 record during his five seasons with the Cougars.
He coached Ravenwood from the time the school opened in 2002 through 2009. Rector led the Raptors to the state championship in 2005, the same year he was named Tennessee Coach of the Year. He led Ravenwood to a state runner-up finish in 2006.
Rector left Ravenwood in 2009 to serve as the graduate assistant at Western Kentucky University before returning to the high school coaching scene with Centennial in 2011.
At Ravenwood, Rector was part of building a program from scratch. But at all of his coaching stops, “I’ve gone with the building mentality,” he said. “What we’re looking forward to is honoring the past while building for the future.”
To do that will require “just getting in there and working every single day,” Rector said. The goal will be “to create that energy, but also sustain it (by) teaching kids how to work hard, the way we want them to work.”
This will be Rector’s first experience at a private school where he will be recruiting players. “Father Ryan is attractive to anybody,” he said. “It’s a great place to build up the total person.”
Prior to coaching at Ravenwood, Rector worked as defensive coordinator at Oldham County High School near Louisville, Kentucky, and as a varsity assistant and freshman and junior varsity coach at Daviess County High School in Owensboro, Kentucky.
He holds a bachelor of arts in history/secondary education from Bellarmine University in Louisville and a master’s degree in secondary education from Western Kentucky University. He and his wife, Harpreet, have two children.