Logan Ryan, two-time Super Bowl champion and safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is grounded in gratitude, firm in family and focused on football.
He and wife Ashley, together since their Rutgers University days, are parents to Avery (7) and Otto (4). Founders of the Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation, a non-profit focused on supporting animal welfare, the Ryans are grateful Tampa is home.
TBPM: You left Rutgers for the NFL. How would you help your children navigate something similar?
Logan Ryan: It’s about what feels right in your heart. We’re raising our kids to chase their passions. An opportunity may not return. When dreams are attainable, go for it. After my rookie year, as a promise to my mother and myself, I finished college.
TBPM: Is your excitement for competitive practices a mindset instilled in you growing up?
Logan Ryan: I was raised with a learner mentality. People older than me share wisdom. My father was influential in instilling that. With football, I’m meticulous in routine, discipline and repetition. It keeps me humble and working on my craft.
TBPM: How do you blend confidence and humility? Why do we need both?
Logan Ryan: Life’s biggest balance: You blend them by believing in yourself. When you’re confident in your skin and believe in what you do, you’ll treat people well. Bullies lack confidence.
We’re big on our kids learning kindness—classroom interactions are as important as grades. If they’re confident and loved on at home, they spread love. Social media has taken confidence.
Ashley Ryan: We have time to continue thinking through the kids’ social media use. The bullying, the content, the accessibility—thinking about kids entering that world is overwhelming. We’ll ensure their confidence and kindness carry over.
TBPM: What does putting fatherhood first look like?
Logan Ryan: It’s all I know. I’m naturally a father, and I realize it’s all bigger than me. A recent Saturday, Otto wanted to bounce on a trampoline. Should I say, daddy’s job won’t allow me? I bounced.
They keep me young and active. I train while they’re sleeping—never during family hours. When I’m home and those kids are awake, I’m dad.
TBPM: How did preparing for Hurricane Ian feel?
Logan Ryan: Stressful and scary. Lots of decision making, and we make decisions jointly.
The team planned on moving us to Miami, so we reserved a house. While leaving, the storm shifted, and we decided the family stay in Tampa. I had to leave. I checked on them constantly.
It was a lot of preparation and focus—the sort of balancing act I do daily but to the extreme. It took a toll.
Ashley Ryan: Tracking the storm and making decisions was fatiguing. Many moving parts: dogs, foster kittens and young children. Thinking about Logan in Miami, Ian hitting, and me in control—alone—was overwhelming.
Avery is science minded. We encouraged her involvement following Ian’s path. We were honest and treated it like an adventure. For the kids, I had to stay calm.
TBPM: Is the Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation involved in rescue efforts connected to Ian?
Logan Ryan: We’re determining who needs help. We’re not doing things to do things. Donations directly support actual efforts.
Ashley Ryan: Since our Tampa partners fared well, we’re discussing RARF’s place in the rebuilding efforts of a Fort Myers organization so they can get their operations running.
TBPM: What do you most appreciate about seeing your kids grow up around animals?
Logan Ryan: You learn kindness by helping a kitten who can’t feed and protect itself. Animals teach Otto to be gentle, respectful and compassionate.
Ashley Ryan: Avery wants to fully care for our foster kittens. As a parent, it affirms you’re doing something right when you see kids’ interactions with animals.
TBPM: What does Florida Strong mean to you?
Logan Ryan: We’re united. The hurricane was tough for players and fans. Worrying about football during Florida’s vulnerability was hard. If we were playing, I was going to make people proud. Sports bring people together—providing joy and solace.
TBPM: Work ethic: Born with it or learned?
Logan Ryan: 100% learned. My parents worked hard and were also present. They were at my games and practices and present when they were home. The kids see me train; they see the work ethic.
TBPM: How do you silence self-criticism?
Logan Ryan: The game is mental. Life is mental. Be mindful of your self-script. I’m not big on praise or criticism. I’m not gloating; I’m not bashing myself. I’m talking about the good plays and the bad plays. Otherwise, my whole rhythm is off.
TBPM: Describe the injury experience.
Logan Ryan: Injuries come with football. I was born durable and have missed few games. I’m competitive, so I focus on recovery.
It puts more on Ashely when I can’t walk much. I learn how to parent from the couch. When I broke a leg, the kids rode along on the scooter. No days off in dad life. You get creative and work with it.
TBPM: Is there a critical element to a championship team?
Logan Ryan: Being tight knit—a feeling that everyone in the organization is on the same page. It’s the collective belief of a city and an organization—you feel the energy and ride the wave.
TBPM: What sets Tampa apart?
Logan Ryan: We lived in Tampa before I played for the Bucs. We chose Tampa; it’s our forever home. We wanted a peaceful place. Playing where I live full time and having my family together is the most freeing feeling. I’m excited for entrenchment in this community, this organization and this fan base. I’m excited to make great plays and help our team win a Super Bowl.
TBPM: What are you most grateful for?
Logan Ryan: Each other. These little humans we made. Our parenting is so important to us. No matter what happens professionally or health wise, we have a solid foundation.
TBPM: How will your family handle the Christmas game?
Ashley Ryan: Since Logan will be gone Christmas Eve, we’ll move up traditions like baking cookies for Santa and making reindeer food. Kids don’t always understand why football creates an absence.
Logan Ryan: Prime time and holiday games are the first I look for on the schedule. I’m playing on Christmas, across the country, at a night game. But, we’ll make time to celebrate together. We have each other; we’re good.
The final questions with Logan Ryan:
- Pregame rituals: Get to the stadium early. Catch 100 footballs before the game.
- Favorite sports movie: “Coach Carter”
- Most boring sport: Golf.
- Who on the team would win an arm-wrestling competition? Would be hard to beat Vita Vea.
- Favorite Thanksgiving dish: Mac and cheese.
Originally published in November 2022 of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.
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