Buddy Ryan was in charge of three Super Bowl winning defenses in his 26 years of coaching in the NFL. The man many considered a defensive genius passed away Tuesday at age 85.
The Frederick native, Oklahoma A&M lineman and longtime NFL coach was as intense as they come.
"His passion for the game led him to creating his own defense, his own style, his own personality, and he demanded excellence," said Broken Arrow head football coach, David Alexander.
Alexander played under Ryan for the Philadelphia Eagles for four years.
Ryan's famed 46 defense and coaching style had a lasting impact on how Alexander coached.
"I had a lot of great mentors in my life and I took things from each one of them and Buddy Ryan is right there at the top of the list, you know. Some of my philosophies on football are based on what Buddy did, and I'm proud to say I played for him," he said.
Ryan was known a character. At one point as coach of the Eagles he said, “We play the game the way it's supposed to be, all out, full tilt, take no prisoners, don't shake hands after the game."
While Alexander hasn't adopted the full Buddy Ryan approach, it did encourage him to play his best.
He said, "What Buddy's brashness did was made the team feel invincible. You knew that Buddy had your back, no matter what you did, and his confidence just dripped over to everybody else."
When Ryan liked a player he gave them a nickname, so when Alexander finally was trusted enough to get a nickname, it looked very similar to the school's logo he coaches for.
"I was from Broken Arrow and my nickname was Broken Stick. I earned his trust right off the bat, early in his first training camp. He just turned around and said 'Hey 72, get in there.' I kind of earned my stripes right there in that 10 minute drill," Alexander said.