Ryan Moore completed his 16th season at the helm of the Valpo track & field program in 2022, having guided numerous athletes to new heights.
The 2022 campaign saw Valpo student-athletes crack the top 5 in program history in 13 different events. Under Moore’s leadership, Nehemiah Ray (indoor 200, outdoor 100, outdoor 200), Ignacio Veloz Bonilla (indoor 800, outdoor 800), Tristan Malatlian (indoor pole vault, outdoor pole vault), Alek Trafton (hammer throw), Ethan Litavecz (decathlon), the men’s 4x400 relay team, Mackenzie Patten (weight throw), Grace Aurand (5,000) and Michelle Pierce (shot put) all put together performances that etched their names in the Valpo record book. Furthermore, Tommy Palmer was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete Team while Igancio Veloz Bonilla placed third in the 1,500 at the Puerto Rico National Championships.
The 2020 indoor season saw two throwers enter the top-5 in Valpo’s history in the weight throw, as juniors Lauren Mikolajczak and Hayley Krulik moved to third and fifth, respectively. Moore also oversaw Valpo’s first pentathlete in an indoor conference meet since 2008 when Shannon Lahey shattered the program record in the event. The season also featured senior Sierra Fischer breaking a 22-year old record in the 400-meter dash in addition to claiming the program’s top time in the 600-meter dash. On the men’s side, Alexander Bruno shattered Valpo’s record in the 800-meter run as well as upping his top mark in the mile. In all, Valpo set six program records under Moore’s watch during the 2020 season and added an additional 11 performances which stood in Valpo’s Top 5 at season’s end. Emanuel Daggett (400) and Bruno (mile) both earned All-MVC honors courtesy of top-3 finishes at the MVC Indoor Championships.
In 2019, Moore coached Jake Rasawehr to one of the most accomplished seasons by a Valpo thrower. Rasawehr finished third at the outdoor conference meet in the discus, becoming Valpo’s first all-conference honoree since the team joined the Missouri Valley Conference prior to the 2017-18 season. In addition, his mark at the championship stands as the program’s second-best all time.
Moore led the program during the transition to the Missouri Valley Conference, a powerhouse in track and field, during the 2017-18 season. He led his team to three school records that had stood for 40 years or more. Under Moore’s guidance, Valpo set a pair of records at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 3, as sophomore Ben Sekuloski shattered a 43-year-old mark in the 400-meter dash and junior Alexander Bruno took down a 40-year old record in the mile. The distance medley relay team also set an indoor school record in that meet. The records continued to fall throughout the season, including on the final day of the MVC Championships, when the 4x400-meter relay team shattered a 44-year old mark.
Valpo also had a record-setting performance on the women’s side during the 2017-18 season as freshman Carli Sowonik turned in a 121-0.25 in the pole vault, shattering a school standard that had stood since 2012.
The program continued its tradition of accumulating academic honorees in 2017-18 as five men’s track and field athletes all garnered MVC Scholar-Athlete honors.
During the 10 years Moore oversaw the school’s track and field program in the Horizon League, Valpo boasted 77 All-League honorees, including 41 event champions. Sixteen times Valpo had athletes honored as Most Outstanding Performers at the league championship meets, while Valpo also earned Athlete of the Week honors on 43 occasions. Moore’s athletes have been successful in the classroom as well, as Valpo earned 109 Academic All-Horizon League honorees.
Moore was at the helm as Valpo opened Warren G. Hoger Track in 2015 and held its first home meet on April 25 of that season. He also helped organize the first Horizon League Outdoor Championships hosted at Valpo in May 2016.
Moore helped coach one of the Horizon League’s top jumpers, as well as one of the best leapers in program history, in 2011 in Jarrett Mickens. Mickens was named the HL Most Outstanding Field Performer indoors after winning both the long jump and triple jump, and followed by earning All-League honors outdoors in the long jump. Moore also saw freshman Julian Smith named the HL Running Newcomer of the Year both indoors and outdoors and receive All-League accolades outdoors in the 100m dash. Smith also set new school records indoors in a pair of sprints, while Mickens broke three of Valpo’s records in the jumps.
The 2010 season saw Moore coach an event champion outdoors in the javelin throw, as Vince Liuzzo earned top honors at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships in the event. Mickens gained All-Horizon League honors both indoors and outdoors as well in 2010, while on the women’s side, Moore saw Alyssa Bradford named a Third Team Academic All-American.
In 2009, Moore guided the women’s squad to a fourth-place finish at the league indoor championships, while Laura Rolf was named the Most Outstanding Running Performer at the championships. In addition, he coached Brett Maynard to the event victory at the men’s outdoor championships in the javelin throw.
Moore led the women’s side to a fourth-place indoor finish and a third-place outdoor finish in its first year of competition in the Horizon League in 2008, matching the best conference meet finishes in program history. Individually, Emilie Marsicek was named the league’s Outstanding Field Performer at the Outdoor Championships and she was joined by Melanie Wilson as qualifiers for the NCAA Mideast Regional outdoors. On the men’s side, Steve Bartholomew was named the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year and earned Outstanding Field Performer honors at both the indoor and outdoor meets. Bartholomew, who broke three school records on the year, competed at the NCAA Indoor Championships and was joined by Chris Honig as qualifiers for the Mideast Regional.
Under Moore's watch, Bartholomew reached nationals in the indoor weight throw his senior season. Later in Moore's tenure, Valpo thrower Jacob Smutz reached U.S. Indoor Nationals as a senior.
Another individual standout who competed under Moore at Valpo is Sarah Drozdowski, who was named Women's Athlete of the Year and Outstanding Women's Field Event Performer of the Meet after winning the hammer throw at the 2015 Horizon League Outdoor Championships in Rochester, Mich. Drozdowski won by more than 14 feet with an effort of 164 feet, 8 inches.
In his first year at the helm, Moore immediately took the program to new heights. The women’s team matched its best finish in program history at the Mid-Continent Conference indoor meet, coming in fourth place, and surpassed its best outdoor finish with a third-place showing. Moore guided 14 All Mid-Continent Conference selections, including the Outdoor Newcomer of the Year in Lakisha Lane. He also coached two outdoor NCAA regional qualifiers and Valpo’s second-ever All-American, as Laura Rolf earned the accolade in the mile run during the indoor campaign.
On the men’s side, Moore led his team to fifth-place finishes in both the indoor and outdoor conference championship meets. He coached three All-Conference selections and one NCAA regional qualifier, as Bartholomew competed at the regional meet in the hammer throw.
Moore worked extensively with the throwers in his three years as an assistant at Valpo. His pupils enjoyed unprecedented success during the 2006 campaign, led by Bartholomew, who was named the 2006 Mid-Continent Conference Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year, the first Valpo track and field athlete to earn the league’s top honor. Three of Moore’s throwers on the men’s side placed in the top seven in the discus throw at the 2006 outdoor conference meet, and four of the top nine in the hammer throw were Valpo athletes. Bartholomew, who won both events, also qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional Meet.
Twelve of Moore’s throwers, six men and six women, earned All-Conference honors in his three years as an assistant coach.
Moore arrived at Valpo from Calvin College, where he ranks among the school’s top discus throwers. In 2002, Moore qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships and won the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Association title in the discus.
Moore graduated from Calvin in 2002 with a degree in parks and recreation. He received his master’s degree in sports administration from Valparaiso in 2005. Moore has earned his USATF Level II Coaching Certification in the throws, the jumps and the multi-events.