Ryan Crawford
Ryan Crawford
Title: Assistant Coach, Special Teams Coordinator, Defensive Backs
Phone: (617) 496-6763
Email: [email protected]edu
Previous College: Davidson 2001
Recruits: Recruiting Areas: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
Experience: Seventh season

Ryan Crawford is in his seventh season working with Harvard's defensive backs and his fifth as special teams coordinator in 2018.

Crawford is responsible for recruiting the Atlantic coast section of the United States, including Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas.

The secondary and special teams units shined for the Crimson in 2017. Harvard finished second in the Ivy League with 12 interceptions, taking two back for touchdowns. Punt returner Justice Shelton-Mosley was one of two Crimson student-athletes to earn first team All-Ivy after blazing the conference with an 18.8 yards per return mark, good for third nationally. Shelton-Mosley's 91-yard TD return at Georgetown was a Harvard record.

The 2016 secondary helped the Crimson to a 7-3 overall record, as the defense ranked 15th in the country in points allowed per game. Captain Sean Ahern, Raishaun McGhee, and Tanner Lee earned All-Ivy League nods. 

In 2015, Harvard’s secondary assisted in holding its opponents to an average of 13.0 points per game and leading the Crimson to its 17th Ivy League title. Sean Ahern, who was elected Harvard’s 143rd captain, was unanimously selected to the All-Ivy first team. Chris Evans and Asante Gibson were also recognized on All-Ancient Eight teams.

Justice Shelton-Mosley was named the conference's Rookie of the Year and to the first team after averaging 19.0 yards on punt returns, the highest in school history. The special teams unit was one of the best in the nation, ranking second in punt return defense (0.9), third in blocked punts (five), fifth in blocked kicks (seven) and sixth in punt returns (16.5). 

In 2014, the Crimson's secondary and special teams were some of the premier units in the country, helping Harvard finish 10-0 and earn the program's 16th conference championship. Harvard ranked first in the nation in scoring defense (12.3 points allowed per game), and the team blocked four punts, good for third in the country. Andrew Fischer, who garnered All-Ivy honors, was 29th in the nation, averaging 23.7 yards per kick return. Three members of the secondary also earned All-Ivy status, including Norman Hayes and Sean Ahern, who received first-team status.

Crawford's defensive backs helped Harvard claim its 15th Ivy League title in 2013 while earning four All-Ivy League honors. Among the quartet was Norman Hayes, a first-team selection, who tied for 16th nationally with three forced fumbles. The foursome helped the Crimson rank 25th nationally in scoring defense at 22.7 points allowed per game, while Harvard blanked Columbia for the second-straight season and held five of its opponents to 21 points or fewer. 

In Crawford's first season in Cambridge, three Harvard defensive backs earned All-Ivy League recognition. Among that group was Chris Splinter, who picked off five passes and tied for fifth nationally with 0.5 interceptions per game. The group helped the Crimson rank eighth nationally in scoring defense at 17.4 points allowed per game.

Crawford came to Harvard after spending four seasons at the University of Rhode Island. He served as the Rams’ defensive coordinator and also carried out a previous stint as the program’s recruiting coordinator.

Over his final three seasons at URI, Crawford’s secondary intercepted 30 passes in the tough Colonial Athletic Association. Crawford has mentored a pair of all-conference defensive backs, including Jarrod Williams, who left URI in 2010 among the school’s all-time leaders in interceptions.

Prior to his tenure at URI, Crawford spent three years as a cornerbacks coach at Bucknell. In 2007, the Bison led the Patriot League with 14 interceptions.

Crawford also spent two years at his alma mater, Davidson. He spent one year coaching the quarterbacks before switching to defense in 2004 to coach the defensive backs.

A 2001 Davidson graduate with a degree in biology, Crawford earned Associated Press first team All-America honors in 1999, when he led the nation with eight interceptions as part of a Davidson team that topped the country with 28 picks. In 2000, Crawford was named the I-AA Mid-Major Defensive Back of the Year as well as the I-AA Independent Defensive MVP. In 2000, he was named Davidson's Special Teams Player of the Year as well as the school's Male Athlete of the Year.

Crawford was inducted into Davidson's Hall of Fame on Feb. 4, 2012, as part of the college's 23rd induction class. 

After graduation, Crawford played semipro football for the Carolina Cowboys and competed professionally with the Indiana Firebirds of the Arena Football League. He was also a 2007 camp invitee with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League and worked as a stuntman and featured extra in the movie "Radio," starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Crawford, his wife, Carrie, their daughter Dylan (2) and son Bryson reside in Charlestown, Massachusetts.