Julian Brenman ’20
Ryan Tozer joined Friends’ Central as a student in 1997, and graduated in 2001. During his tenure as a pupil, Mr. Tozer was known as a soccer player, runner, dedicated community member, and gifted basketball player. Mr. Tozer continues to dedicate himself to our community through his position as middle school math teacher and advisor. And, though his days of competitive b-ball playing are long gone, he enjoys coaching the FCS Varsity boys’ team.
Mr. Tozer’s love of basketball began far before he entered Friends’ Central. He has fond memories of “my dad rebounding for me at local playgrounds. From that time on, I always had a ball with me and was always looking for a court.” So, when he found his court of choice at FCS, he took the opportunity and ran with it. While a player on our court, Mr. Tozer was quite a sensation. He explains, “We [the team] were fortunate to make three straight FSL title games and win it all in 2001. I was also fortunate to make the All Friends League and All Main Line teams my sophomore, junior and senior years.”
His favorite part of playing for FCS was “the school spirit at our Friday night home games, especially during my senior year, which was the first year of the Shimada Athletic Center. There was also no better feeling than getting back on the bus after beating a team on their home floor. I took great pride in representing my school, coaches, teammates and family while playing. I have fond memories of pushing my teammates and being pushed to get better in practice.” As far as his favorite coaches, Mr. Tozer shares, “I played for Bob Folwell my first three years, and Keino Terrell my last year. Both were excellent coaches that stressed a ‘we’ not ‘me’ attitude.” In addition to the phenomenal coaches, Mr. Tozer has always admired every aspect of the Friends’ Central athletic program. “There is a commitment to developing players and winning championships the right way. The name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back,” he says.
After graduating from Friends’ Central, Mr. Tozer studied at Eastern University, where he also played basketball. There, he ranks third all time, with 268 career three-pointers made. Though nothing could match his marvelous experience at FCS, he looks back on his college playing days with joy. “My experience playing basketball in college was similar to playing at FCS. Learning to deal with adversity, perseverance, accountability, leadership, toughness and being a good teammate were values instilled in me in high school. Those same values were stressed in college.” As he continues to coach and teach math, he finds core integral values can be applied to both finding denominators and dribbling. “There are a lot of real life values that can be taught and learned through team sports and I like the responsibility of instilling such values that can help my players be successful in life.”
Mr. Tozer gives the following advice to aspiring players. “Find someone in your life that will be honest with you and not tell you what you want to hear. You can’t improve without hearing real constructive criticism. My father always gave me honest feedback as a player and sometimes it was hard to hear. But, it made me better. Now that I am coaching, I’ve surrounded myself with people who won’t just agree with me.”
When not at Friends’ Central, Mr. Tozer enjoys spending time at his home in Media, with his wife Natalie and daughter Violet (3) and son Rhett (1).
Then & Now-
At left, an upper-school aged Mr. Tozer At right, Mr. Tozer coaching students.
Shooting hoops with a pal