Title-winning West Coast Fever coach Dan Ryan has revealed he accepted a job that paid just $5000 after his disastrous stint at the Adelaide Thunderbirds came to an end.
Ryan etched his name into Fever history on Sunday when he led the team to a 70-59 grand final win over the Melbourne Vixens at RAC Arena.
The triumph ended Western Australia's 25-year netball title drought, and capped a remarkable resurgence from Ryan.
Ryan's first taste of being a head coach in Super Netball was a disaster.
He won his first game in charge of the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2017, but he would go on to record 27 straight losses from that point on before being shown the door at the end of 2018.
Intent to keep his dreams of coaching at the elite level alive, Ryan took a massive pay cut to coach Northern Ireland's national team, before going on to lead English outfit Leeds Rhinos.
The Fever took a punt on him at the end of last year when Stacey Marinkovich left to take over the Diamonds on a full-time basis, and on Sunday Ryan tasted the ultimate glory.
Ryan said he never feared his ill-fated stint at Adelaide would mark the end of his coaching dreams.
"I was determined to ensure that it was going to be the start of me, not the end of me," Ryan said.
"I took an 80 grand pay cut and moved to the UK for $5000 for a year and lived off savings so I could keep coaching.
"That's what it meant to me. Then the door of opportunity opened here at Fever. The club believed in me. I'm so proud to be part of history with these girls, and to be connected with them for the rest of our lives."
Ryan hopes his story will inspire others.
"It just goes to show never give up and always believe in yourself, and if you want something bad enough, find a way to make it happen," Ryan said.
"I'm a huge believer that if you're willing to lean into the hardships and the tough times, they will be the moments that make you who you are.
"The testing and challenging times for me have made me the coach I am right now."
Australian Associated Press
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