Tragic Loss: Remembering Reed Ryan, the UMD Bulldog Football Player Who Passed Away at 22

The athletics department at the University of Minnesota Duluth announced on Wednesday that Reed Ryan, a football player, passed away on Tuesday, almost a week after falling during a team workout.

On November 21, the 22-year-old suffered a heart arrest and eventually passed out. According to Ryan’s obituary, his collapse was caused by an undiagnosed inherited cardiac disease.

After the athletic training staff performed CPR, Ryan’s pulse returned. After that, he was brought to St. Mary’s-Duluth Medical Center, where he received ICU care before to passing away.

Ryan was a double major at the University’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics, concentrating in Professional Sales and Marketing.

“In his brief existence, Reed experienced life to the fullest and had a contagious smile. According to Ryan’s obituary, Reed took great satisfaction in being surrounded by friends, family, mentors, and teammates. He also enjoyed people and could talk to anyone.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his grandmother, great-aunt, brother, sister, and two nephews.


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Head football coach Curt Wiese of UMD released a statement saying, “Our staff and players are devastated about Reed’s passing.” “Reed strived to improve daily at whatever task was in front of him. He genuinely cared about the people around him and exuded a good attitude that helped bring out the best in others.

Reed was a blessing to have on our team; in a short amount of time, he improved our department, our program, and our community. Although Reed will be sadly missed, his legacy will endure forever, Wiese said. “He was the perfect example of a UMD Bulldog, and we should all strive to be like him.”

“Reed had a positive impact on so many, and we are deeply saddened by his passing,” UMD director of sports Forrest Karr continued. Reed was an intelligent, courteous, and compassionate young guy who delighted in uniting others.”

The Wisconsin native won the State of Wisconsin Defensive Player of the Year award after graduating from Waunakee High School in 2019 before deciding to attend UMD. He recorded 147 tackles in his high school football career, including 34 sacks and 63 tackles for loss. In addition, Ryan wrestled on his high school team, winning over 100 matches.

He got a full scholarship to play football for four seasons at North Dakota State University after finishing high school. In 2023, he moved to UMD. In nine games this season, the defensive lineman recorded seven tackles and eight assists.

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