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Farragut mourns loss of teacher, assistant coach

According to his boss on the football field, Ryan Shoup seemed to be making huge strides — rehabilitating in the midst of a roughly five-week battle with pancreas-related complications requiring four weeks of hospital intensive care.

However, shocking news came a few hours following an upbeat visit.

Ryan, 40, a business teacher and assistant football coach at Farragut High School for seven years, died late Thursday, Oct. 21, at St. Mary’s Medical Center while in rehabilitation.

“I was over there yesterday, and he was doing great; he was actually out of bed and standing up,” FHS Varsity Football head coach Eddie Courtney said. “We talked quite a bit. ... He felt pretty good when I left there.

“He looked the best he’d looked since I’d seen him in the last five weeks,” Courtney added. “Then last night they called me about 10:45 and said he’d passed away.

“It’s unreal.”

The Admirals running backs coach and special teams coordinator, Ryan was “first of all, a great family man, a great father and great husband,” Courtney said. “And a tremendous teacher in the business wing.

“And what he’s done for us in coaching, just the impact; I’ve had so many former players that have come by today, and called, just because of the kind of person that he was,” he added.

“He had a great sense of humor about things. And he knew how to motivate people, whether it was in the classroom or on the field.”

Ryan originally took ill in mid-September while teaching a class, and was taken to Mercy West Hospital “with a lot of pain in his abdomen area, chest area,” Courtney previously said about Ryan’s condition.

Farragut’s scheduled football game, less than 24 hours after Ryan’s death, was played as Lenoir City visited FHS’s Bill Clabo Field.

“We felt like, certainly, that’s what he’d want us to do,” said Courtney, adding the go-ahead to play was given by FHS principal Michael Reynolds, Ryan’s family and team members who met with Courtney Friday morning.

Among plans to honor Ryan’s memory, all FHS players’ helmets included — for a second straight week — a decal bearing his initials, “RS.”

Ryan is survived by his wife, Shera, and children, Sam, 11, and Emma, 7.

A Celebration of Life service, and receiving of friends, were held Monday, Oct. 25, at Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church, 1620 N. Central St.

Graveside service and interment was Tuesday morning, Oct. 26, at Greenwood Cemetery.


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