Memphis, TN - As Coach Justin Fuente was putting the finishing touches on the beginning of his first season as head football coach at the University of Memphis, tragedy struck as one of Memphis' Offensive Coordinator's was forced to retire after learning that he had cancer. "It was a tough decision, this is one obstacle that my family and I will need to work hard with each other if I am going to overcome. I wish the university, the fans, the coaches, and most of all, the players the best of luck in the coming year, and the years to follow. I believe in this program, and know in my heart that this staff, along with the support of the city of Memphis can help bring Tiger football out of the gutter, and become champions." Coach Fuente needed to find a man who could help him do what he believed was necessary in order to make Memphis football "matter again." Many believe he did that with his latest signing, Ryan West.
West grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and played football for East High School in Salt Lake. As a halfback he helped lead EHS to the state playoffs his Junior and Senior season, receiving All-State honors both years. After high school, West decided to sign his letter of intent with the University of Colorado, although West never got to start at Colorado his first three years, he was a vital part in many games including a three touchdown game his Sophomore year against Baylor. Many believed that West would be a dominate force in his Senior season at Colorado, but unfortunately was injured in the Spring Game, tearing his ACL. Although he was given an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA, West decided to leave Colorado after he got his degree, explaining that he understood his playing days were over, and would try and coach. He coached High School Football at East High School as an assistant coach, and moved to Fort Worth, TX to coach at Cassata High School. He helped move five of his players to FBS College Football in his two years as a coach at Cassata, including three to TCU, where until recently, Coach Fuente was the Offensive Coordinator.
When asked about the opportunity to become the next offensive coordinator at Memphis, Coach West replied "I am grateful for the opportunity. I want to help bring Memphis Football to the high level it should be. We have such a unique opportunity at Memphis, and I plan to help make this team great." For now, Coach West has a one year contract, including some goals that the AD believe are important to turning around the program. Coach West has also become the new head of recruiting at Memphis. "I plan on getting players who will work hard, help the team, and most of all, want to win." It sounds like Memphis Football is heating up. Fans can't wait until opening day, September 1st, when Memphis takes on Tennessee-Martin.