Ryan Martin became the director of United's academy in January 2017. Prior to overseeing all youth development for D.C. United, the Columbus, Ohio, native coached and was the recruiting coordinator at Wake Forest University and in 2016 helped build FC Cincinnati's roster from scratch with head coach and former United player John Harkes.
An NSCAA All-American midfielder at Ohio Wesleyan under his father Jay Martin, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history, Martin went on to play for Real Salt Lake and teams in Iceland and Germany before following his passion to coaching. He returned to Ohio Wesleyan to begin his coaching career, and the following year moved to Wake Forest University in 2007 under Jay Vidovich. During his time at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons won one national championship, made three NCAA College Cups and won two ACC Championships while compiling a record of 102-39-22.
Starting as a volunteer, Martin worked his way up to recruiting coordinator and assistant coach, stepping in as interim head coach on an as-needed basis. After becoming the recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2010, Martin earned top ten recruiting classes every year (including the best class in the country in 2012). More than 15 Demon Deacons have gone on to play Major League Soccer since Martin began at the university, including current United defender Jalen Robinson, former United midfielder Collin Martin and 2016 rookie of the year finalist Jack Harrison, as well as 2016 USL MVP and Golden Boot Winner Sean Okoli (who he worked with this past season at FC Cincinnati before Okoli’s transfer to NYCFC).
At FC Cincinnati, Martin acted as assistant coach to Harkes, where he helped form a roster of 26 players from scratch in four months en route to finishing third (16-6-8) out of 29 teams and having the Goalkeeper of the Year, MVP and Golden Boot winner, Coach of the Year finalist and three First-Team All-USL players. He holds both a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) license.