MIAMI — After two seasons as head football coach at Northeastern A&M College, Ryan Held has resigned to become a position coach with the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Held is joining former University of Nebraska teammate Scott Frost with the UCF Knights. Frost was named the 10th head coach at Central Florida last week after spending six years as offensive coordinator at Oregon.
“This was just too good an opportunity for Ryan to pass up for both he and his family,” NEO athletic director Dale Patterson said. “We certainly hate to lose him because we felt like he had our program headed in the right direction. We won’t waste any time finding a replacement because of recruiting and setting up our spring football program.”
Held met with players Thursday afternoon to tell them of his decision.
Held has been unavailable for comment, but he did post a Tweet Friday morning: “The New Journey Begins.”
Patterson said its hoped that the hiring process can be completed by Jan. 11, when the new semester begins.
Held and Frost played together at Nebraska in 1995 and '96.
Frost was the starting quarterback and Held was a graduate assistant on coach Tom Osborne’s 1997 co-national championship team.
“We have to try to find the best coach we can,” Patterson said. “We have to find somebody that can win, but we've also got to be concerned about stability."
The next head coach will be NEO's fifth out of the past six years and the seventh in the last 11 seasons.
During his tenure with the Golden Norsemen, Held compiled a 5-6 record in 2014 and a 4-5 mark this past season. Held guided NEO to 1-5 and 2-4 records respectively in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference.
While at NEO, the Golden Norsemen produced 36 all-conference performers including six first team selections under Held’s tutelage.
Prior to coming to NEO as a replacement for first-year head coach Sherard Poteete, Held served two years as head football coach at Highland (Kansas) Community College.
Poteete, the former offensive coordinator at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, finished 3-6 and 0-6 with the Golden Norsemen.
Held’s first head coaching position came at NAIA Peru State College (Nebraska) in 2001. In 2002, Held became the head coach at NCAA Division II Panhandle Oklahoma State University in Goodwell that had the longest losing streak in the NCAA and only 17 players in the program when he took over.
He then moved on to Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. Within two years, Held led his team to the 2007 North Division title, becoming the North Division Coach of the Year in 2006. Southwestern was named one of the top 10 most improved programs in the country in 2006.
With Held as the offensive coordinator at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., from 2007 through 2011, the Grizzlies finished the 2011 season as the Jayhawk Conference and Region VI champions. Held’s offense finished second in the nation with a 513.7 yards per game average.
“We’ll be looking for someone that can keep the program headed in the positive direction that Held had in place,” Patterson said.
Patterson said longtime assistant Zach Allen will oversee the program until a new head coach is named.