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Alumnus Ryan McKenzie '05 to coach in FISU America Games in Mexico

A former Alcorn State University student-athlete is watching his coaching career blossom, as he was recently chosen to represent the country in an international sports competition.

Ryan McKenzie '05 was recently selected to coach for the USA team at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) America Games in Merida, Mexico, Oct. 14 – 26.

The FISU America Games are a multi-sport event similar to the Pan-American Games for FISU member countries of North and South America held in even-numbered years. The 2022 Games will be the second edition of the FISU America Games, which will have USA team representation in up to 15 sports against 20-25 participating countries.

McKenzie serves as an associate head track & field coach at William Carey University. Alcorn's former track & field athlete took his passion from the track to the sideline, as he is an eight-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association South Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year. He also won the 2022 Women’s Outdoor National Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2021 Women’s Outdoor National Assistant Coach of the Year.

McKenzie’s selection for the FISU Games proves that his hard work and accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed.

“I was incredibly honored to be amongst a few coaches selected,” said McKenzie. “I felt one of the most gratifying feelings. To know that someone looked at my work and decided what I've done over the years qualified me. That was very humbling.”

In his first time coaching outside of the country, McKenzie is excited and looks forward to displaying his coaching abilities in an event of this magnitude.

“I'm excited to coach on an international stage. I understand that no matter what country I travel to as a coach, the coaching side doesn't change. I look forward to participating in this great event and coaching our athletes. The goal is to bring back some medals for the U.S.A. team.”

This opportunity also allows McKenzie to grow in his career. He anticipates that the lessons he learns and the people he meets in Mérida will impact his coaching career.

“I think it's another wonderful achievement that aligns with my career goals. After this event, I will return to William Carey University and continue my quest to become the best Coach Ryan McKenzie I can be.”