Coach Ryan Howard looks ahead to Spring Football

Written by Preston Gay | Football has been a very big sport at CAC for a long time and is a favorite on campus. With spring football around the corner, athletes will be heading into training under new head coach Ryan Howard. Coach Howard spent the last two years working as an analyst and offense assistant at the University of Missouri. In addition to coaching at Missouri, he also played quarterback at the University of Central Arkansas. Coach Howard wants to build the program on love and hard work.

“I want to lay the foundation first,” he said. “We are going to build the program on love, serving and caring. We are going to be fundamentally sound and play with great effort, and that is going to be the expectations for this team. I truly believe in hard work and effort, and we are going to pride ourselves on that.” 

Howard is already looking ahead to practices and planning to get the most out of that time. 

“We are going to work on everything about football from the ground up as if these players have never played in their life,” he said. “We have enough talent to where if we get good at the fundamentals and better than other teams, we will put ourselves in a position to succeed.” 

Howard learned a lot of valuable things at Missouri, especially how to read a defense. He also said he was able to gain a better perspective on the whole picture of the game and learn the ins and outs of defense. 

“The best offensive coaches know defense in and out and know the details about certain defense rules and responsibilities,” he said. “You learn what gives certain defenses trouble.” 

After attending UCA, Howard became familiar with the Central Arkansas area. “This is the area me and my wife moved to for college,” he said. “It’s a great community and it is really about the people. The community makes this place special.” 

Being at UCA, he also had the opportunity to play quarterback for the football team. 

“It was a good experience and humbling,” he said. “You play with a lot of other talented all-state level players. I learned a lot about myself and who God created me to be and just control what you can control. It was great to win games and win championships, and a lot of good relationships were formed because of playing quarterback at UCA.”

Every coach has an upbringing and a reason that made them be a coach. Howard explained how his dad had a big part in that. 

“My dad was a high school coach, so I grew up around it a lot,” he said. “Kindergarten to first, I was at the football field. There were good and godly coaches around that were kind of second father figures. Being around players, you get a love for the athletes and the scheme and the X’s and O’s of playing football. I have a big heart for athletes and football players.” 

Inspiring players is a big part of a coach’s job, and Howard plans to do the same with the CAC football team and help them become better people in their lives.

“The number one thing is to love one another and love their future spouse and kids,” he said. “Also how to serve other people — we are going to lead by our actions.”