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Five Things To Know About Ryan Ficken

Ficken updated photo-5 things

Here are five things to know about Chargers special teams coordinator Ryan Ficken.

Played college football at Arizona State University

Ficken earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Arizona State University. While at ASU, Ficken was a member of the Sun Devils football team for two seasons and received the Scholar-Athlete Award. He also was a member of Gamma Beta Phi and the National Scholastic Honor Society.

Got his start as a graduate assistant at UCLA

This role with the Bolts marks a return to where it all professionally began for Ficken. After his collegiate career at Arizona State, Ficken joined another Pac-12 school, the UCLA Bruins, as a graduate assistant from 2004-2006.

15-season NFL coaching veteran

After 14 seasons on the Vikings coaching staff, Ficken was named Minnesota's special teams coordinator in 2021. He previously held positions as Minnesota's assistant running backs coach, assistant wide receivers coach, and assistant special teams coordinator. Ficken has coached All-Pro NFL talent like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Vikings wide receivers Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice.

Promoted to special teams coordinator in 2021

Ficken orchestrated a special teams unit that led the NFC in kickoff return average. He coached kicker Greg Joseph to lead the conference with 33 made field goals, while wide receiver Kene Nwangwu led the NFL with two kickoff return touchdowns.

Participated in Running of the Bulls

Back in 2004 while at UCLA, Ficken traveled to Pamplona, Spain to participate in the historical Running of the Bulls tradition. Ficken told in 2019 about his experience saying:

"Best experience I've ever had in my life," Ficken said, the 15-year-old memory still vivid. "It was unbelievable. Un. Believable. And that's why I encouraged Janocko – I said, 'You've gotta do it.'

Ficken described his emotions when the unforgettable experience first started.

"Right when that first bang goes off, the adrenaline starts pumping. When we were running through the course, I lost my buddies," Ficken said, explaining that oftentimes it's the runners around you, who get in front of a bull or stumble on the path, that can be dangerous."

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