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River Ridge tabs former Buc, alum Ryan Benjamin as football coach
Posted Jun 10, 2011 by Mike Camunas
Updated Jun 10, 2011 at 10:53 AM
Who says you can’t come home again?
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and River Ridge alum Ryan Benjamin has been hired to coach his former Royal Knights football team, River Ridge principal Maria Swanson told the Tampa Tribune this Friday morning.
Benjamin, a long snapper who won a Super Bowl Ring with the 2002 Buccaneers, also played for USF, and replaces Gary Allen, who resigned May 31 due to medical conditions.
“I’m so excited about what lies ahead,” said Benjamin, a 1996 River Ridge grad. “It’s kind of bittersweet because I know how much (this job) meant to Gary. I like him a lot, he’s a friend, so the way he had to exit — it’s tough situation all around for the administration, the teachers, coaches, the AD.
“But some of the best times I had of my life were with this football program and it made me a better student, a better member of the community and a better person. … But I know people are wondering how I can be so sure about how I can get this program rolling again, and I am because here I am: a River Ridge grad, an ordinary kid with ordinary abilities that did something extraordinary.
“I have a Super Bowl ring on my finger, my number is retired at the stadium, so there is a way to do something great at River Ridge, and I’m proof of that and want my new players to realize it.”