Ryan Ayers will be entering his second year on the Bison staff in 2015-16. He joined then-head coach Dave Paulsen's staff in November 2014. Ayers was an Academic All-Big East selection while playing basketball at Notre Dame from 2005-09, and then he spent five years playing professionally before shifting his focus to coaching.
A 6’7” guard, Ayers co-captained the Notre Dame men’s basketball team as a senior in 2008-09. He appeared in 117 career games for the Fighting Irish, including 51 starts, and averaged 6.5 points and 2.4 rebounds. He graduated ranked third in program history in 3-point field goal percentage (.424) and eighth in 3-pointers made (170). Ayers averaged a career-best 11.1 points per game as a senior and had a 35-point game with nine 3-pointers in a win over South Dakota.
Ayers was a two-year member of Notre Dame’s Student Advisory Council, and he graduated from the Mendoza College of Business in May 2009 with a degree in marketing. After graduation, Ayers launched a professional playing career that included stints both overseas and with the NBA Developmental League. He had D-League turns with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (2009-10) and Austin Toros (2013), and he also played in Finland (2010-11, 2013-14) and France (2011-12).
This past summer Ayers was a player, coach and assistant general manager for the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni Team that won the The Basketball Tournament, a 32-team, single-elimination event held in his native Philadelphia. The team donated $40,000 of its prize winnings to Coaches vs. Cancer.
Ayers has also been a coach at the Hoops 24-7 Basketball Academy and served as a camp speaker and volunteer assistant coach at Germantown Academy, his high school alma mater.
Ayers comes from a highly regarded basketball family. Bucknell fans are very familiar with his younger brother, Cameron, who was a standout guard for the Bison from 2010-14 and was named the 2014 Patriot League Player of the Year. Ryan and Cameron are the sons of Randy Ayers, a former player at Miami (Ohio) who went on to a distinguished coaching career himself. Randy Ayers is the former head coach at Ohio State and with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, and he is currently an assistant coach with the New Orleans Pelicans.
“I am super excited to be part of the Bucknell program,” said Ryan Ayers when he was hired. “With my brother playing here for the last four years I became one of Bucknell’s biggest fans. I followed the team very closely and feel like I got to know the program very well. Coach Paulsen has continued this program’s tradition of success, and I just want to do my part to help this team continue to win.”