Ryan Steps Down as USAFL President
USAFL President Denis Ryan has tendered his resignation to the league, effective immediately. Michael Sheppard, the current USAFL Eastern Regional VP, will take over as interim president.
Ryan began his USAFL career as a player for the Baltimore-Washington Eagles, and served as a head coach and assistant coach of the USA Revolution throughout his time with the USAFL. For nearly two decades, Ryan has passionately dedicated his time and energy growing the sport of Australian Football in the United States. Ryan introduced the USFooty Kids Program and developed and launched AusBall, a co-ed, non-contact version of the game suitable for new players young and old. He was named a USAFL Life Member in 2007 and in 2012 became the third person named to the USAFL Hall of Fame.
During his tenure as President, Ryan oversaw multiple initiatives to further advance the USAFL's presence. He has fostered strong relationships with the AFL and has contributed to the growth of the international exchange program. He was a pivotal force in getting USAFL matches and tournaments broadcast on the internet.
Michael Sheppard, a native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, steps into the interim president role as the current longest tenured member of the USAFL board. Sheppard has served as Eastern Regional Vice President since the 2011 season. Prior to that, he was president of the Boston Demons Australian Football Club.