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- SPX Christmas Classic
St. Pius X Golden Lions
Girls' MVP Award
The Girls' MVP award for the St. Pius X Christmas Classic Tournament is named in honor of Megan (Callahan) Ryan, St. Pius X Class of 1989, where she was a standout athlete in soccer, basketball and volleyball. Megan was devoted to St. Pius X and Catholic education, having been the chairman of the St. Pius X Math Department. She also served as the head coach for the women’s basketball and soccer teams, where she led the school to its first state championship in women’s soccer and the basketball team to the elite eight. She later served as the Director of Admissions and Assistant Principal of Blessed Trinity High School, and coached that school to a soccer state championship as well. She was twice named GHSA state coach of the year. Between her time as a student and teacher/coach at St. Pius X, Megan graduated from the University of Richmond, and obtained a Masters in Education from the University of Georgia.
It was while at St. Pius X that Megan met many lifelong friends, as well as the one true love of her life, fellow coach and teacher, Tom Ryan. Together they shared a love of sports and education. Tragically, when her children (son Johnny; daughter Maura) were very young, Megan was diagnosed with cancer. After a courageous battle with the disease, she died in 2007. Tom, who coaches football and teaches at Blessed Trinity, continues to raise their two children in the spitting image of their mother as great Catholics, student athletes and friends to everyone they meet. While playing for St. Pius X, Megan was named the DeKalb County Player of the Year in basketball.
She approached sports in the same manner she approached life; with determination, love and passion. Her number one priority as a coach was to instill the same attitude in her players, which was evidenced in her team’s success, and in the current success of the many young women and students she influenced.
Megan was born the ninth of 10 children. She was a loving sibling who provided significant care and dedication to her older sister, who was paralyzed from neurofibromatosis. The Callahan tradition at St. Pius X began in 1968 and continued for two generations until 2007, with 13 graduates. Her parents’ legacy remains through the Mary Byrne Callahan Scholarship and Endowment. The entire Ryan and Callahan family wish to thank all of Megan’s friends and former colleagues, players and students who contributed to and supported this honor.