Jon Ryan and family establish scholarship with record-setting donation
Super Bowl Champion and Saskatchewan Roughrider Jon Ryan, with his mother and brother announced a $200,000 donation to the University of Regina Rams.
The Bob Ryan Scholarship is the largest scholarship gift ever given to the Rams.
“It’s a really big deal for my family, obviously my father made a huge impact on this community, he loved the Regina Rams. My brother (Steve) and I both played. We had a goal set out to start this scholarship fund, we’ve been raising money for a number of years, its’ pretty important to us to give back” Jon Ryan said following the announcement.
Bob Ryan died in 2006 after a short battle with cancer at the age of 54. Bob was an alumni of the University of Regina who received Masters of Arts in Psychology from the institution. He was already a supporter of the Rams football program long before his sons Steve and Jon became involved.
“Being a student-athlete, we didn’t always have time to work. You’d go from school to football, and there just wasn’t time. Money was always tight. So a little bit of money to help these players out is going to go a long way. I know what it’s like” Jon Ryan said.
Steve Ryan, Jon’s brother, was a defensive back for the Rams from 2003 to 2007. In his final season he had 19 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He also served as a punt returner, running back the ball 21 times for 84 yards.
The Ryan brothers were able to play together on that 2003 edition of the Rams. Jon Ryan’s Rams career began in 2000 at receiver and punter among other spots at times. Jon had four touchdown catches in his final season. The next season he’d sign with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers where he’d catch the eye of NFL scouts, leading to a tryout and spot with his father’s favourite team; the Green Bay Packers.
Ryan would go on to win the Super Bowl with the 2014 Seattle Seahawks in a 43-8 romp of the Denver Broncos. In 2019, with the passion to play football still burning, Ryan signed a one-year deal with his hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders. All of these experiences, Ryan told media Saturday, wouldn’t have been possible without the Rams program, which is why he and his family had to give back.
“I’ve taken so much from this community, from this university, from this team, there’s no way I could ever repay that debt, so this scholarship is just one way we can try to make up for some of the things we’ve taken from this great place.
Over several years, money made from the Bob Ryan Foundation and Gear Up with Jon Ryan Foundation helped make the donation possible.
The Bob Ryan Memorial Scholarship at the University of Regina will provide five annual awards of $2,000 to help student-athletes achieve their academic and athletic goals continuing Bob’s positive impact on the community for years to come.