LaGrange College athletic director Jennifer Claybrook announced the promotion of Ryan Dickson to head men's soccer coach. Dickson has been an assistant coach the past two seasons for the Panthers.
"I'm very pleased to promote Ryan," said Claybrook. "He has worked extremely hard the past two seasons with Matthew Evans in building the men's soccer program. Ryan is a gifted coach, who has worked well with our players and was a natural choice for the position."
The Portadown, Northern Ireland native came to LaGrange after being a volunteer coach at Emmanuel (Ga.) College for two seasons. Dickson came as a graduate assistant in the summer of 2015 to pursue a masters in philanthropy and development degree and assist the men's soccer program. During his time at LC, the Panthers won their first ever USA South conference game and he helped lead the team during the 2017 season in qualifying for the conference tournament for the first time.
"I am very excited to get this opportunity to become the head coach at LaGrange College. It makes it even more exciting as I have already worked with these players for three seasons, and every year that I have been here we have been reaching new heights," said Dickson. "I would like to thank Matthew Evans for guiding me along the way for the last few years and leaving me with a good group of players, also I would like to thank Jennifer Claybrook for giving me this opportunity to continue to take this program forward. Go Panthers!"
In Northern Ireland, Dickson played for his local club Portadown FC and made his first semi pro debut at the age of 18. He then moved to Loughgall FC where he played in the Irish League for two seasons before coming to the United States. At the youth level he represented his local County Armagh for three years in the world famous Milk Cup tournament. He was also part of Manchester United's school of excellence for four years and also the Northern Ireland schools boy development programs.
He started his collegiate career at South Carolina-Salkehatchie Junior College where he scored 10 goals and had 9 assists. Dickson was named to the All-Region first 11 twice. He then transferred to Emmanuel College where he played another two years where he helped EC with an overall 21-16-2 record in the Southern States Athletic Conference. He scored seven goals and had nine assists in 38 starts.
Dickson graduated from Emmanuel in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He helped Emmanuel to a 16-20-2 record as they transitioned from NAIA to NCAA Division II.