Ryan Saunders enters his sixth season at Barry University as the lead assistant coach.
He works primarily with the offense, and is responsible for recruiting, on-court coaching, player development, scheduling and administrative duties.
In 2009-10, Saunders helped the Bucs reach the Sunshine State Conference Tournament championship game and an NCAA Division II National Tournament bid. The Bucs went on to defeat Florida Southern, 64-59, for the first NCAA Tournament win in three trips to the dance.
During his tenure as assistant coach at Barry, Saunders has worked primarily with the Buccaneer backcourt. In 2008-09, two guards received Sunshine State All-Conference recognition. Karega Tucker earned a spot on the SSC All-Conference second team averaging 14 points per game and nearly six rebounds per game. In that same year, Erick Nsangou earned the SSC Defensive Player of the Year award from the point guard position. Nsangou averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while digging in defensively against some of the best players in the conference.
In 2009-10, Saunders helped piece together one of the most explosive backcourts in Barry University history. Tony Dennison earned Second-Team All-SSC honors after he averaged 19 points and five rebounds per contest. Dennison was also named to the All-South Region Second Team and NCAA South Regional tournament team. Nsangou received all-conference recognition for the second straight year, earning a spot on the Sunshine State honorable mention list. Similar to Saunders in his playing days, Nsangou played 35.3 minutes per game, most on the team, and averaged 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He was also named to the SSC all-tournament team. Guard Zack Trapp, who averaged 10.1 points per game and hit 74 threes on the year, joined Dennison and Nsangou on the SSC all-tournament team. Saunders also coached 2011-12 Second-Team All-SSC selection Evan White, one of the school’s best three-point shooters.
Saunders, who made 120 straight starts in his four-year career -- playing in every game -- walked away as the Bucs’ all-time leader with 578 assists. His assist total ranked fifth in SSC history.
Saunders was the of two Buccaneer squads that earned NCAA Tournament berths. As a sophomore in 2004-05, he started all 32 games at the point, averaging 5.1 assists per game to lead the conference. He also chipped in 4.9 points and 2.1 rebounds as Barry posted a then school-best 23-9 overall record.
As a senior, Saunders was named First-Team All-SSC, and led Barry to its second NCAA tournament berth in three seasons. Again starting every game, he was third on the team in scoring at 9.5 points and in assists at 4.2 per game. He pumped in a career-high 29 points in a 68-62 win over Lynn on Jan. 24, 2007.
During his junior season, Saunders dished out a career-best 163 assists, which ranked second in Barry single-season history. He scored 8.4 points and averaged 3.0 rebounds per game as well.
In 2003-04, he was named to the SSC All-Freshman Team, averaging 7.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He shot career-highs from the floor (50.4), three-point range (42.0) and free throw line (75.0).