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Dayton Football player Ryan Culhane named the November PlayMaker of the Month by the Institute for Sport and Social Justice


Ryan Culhane (74) clearing a path for the runner

ORLANDO – University of Dayton senior football player and Student-Athlete Advisory executive board member Ryan Culhane was recently named the November PlayMaker of the Month by the Institute for Sport and Social Justice.

The Institute For Sport & Social Justice (“The Institute”) PlayMaker of the Month award program recognizes the academic achievement and community service of student-athletes that reflect “The Institute’s” core values.

Culhane, a native of Naperville, Ill., has been an active member of Dayton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee since his freshman year. SAAC representatives serve as liaisons to administration and are tasked with relaying very important information to their teams, and also organizing teammates to attend community outreach events, as well as career development opportunities. For the 2019-20 season, he was voted to the executive board and serves as the Co-Community Service chair.

A chemical engineering major, he’s been named to the Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll.

Most recently, Culhane and softball player Jules Curry have worked with Dayton athletics, SAAC, and the UD Bookstore to sell Dayton Strong shirts with all proceeds going to the Dayton Foundation, specifically to the Oregon District Tragedy and Tornado Relief Funds. The deadline to donate to those funds was Oct. 31. Tonight, at the Dayton men’s basketball exhibition game vs. Cedarville, Culhane, Curry, and Jenny Napier will present a check to the Dayton Foundation. Dayton Strong shirts are still being sold at Flyer Spirit on Brown Street, at the UD Bookstore, at the Cronin Family Spirit Shop at UD Arena, and also online at

Culhane has spoken about leadership, commitment, and the importance of giving your best to two local inner-city Dayton schools: Horace Mann Elementary and Blairwood Elementary.

Other SAAC initiatives he’s been involved with include creating Valentine’s cards to give to sick children at a local hospital, putting on a talent show with proceeds going toward school supplies for Blairwood Elementary, another talent show with all proceeds going to the Dayton Foundation.

Culhane also took the lead on involving student-athletes in Dayton’s first Day of Giving this spring. The Flyers hosted a field day to help promote the event which raised $866,284 from 5,638 total donors in 24 hours.

Every year, Culhane has volunteered for Christmas on Campus, a university-run day where children in the Dayton community are buddied with a student who takes them around campus partaking in different Christmas activities. The past two years, Ryan has been on the committee to help pair up the children with student-athletes.

PlayMaker of the Month gives coaches, administrators, teammates, and faculty the opportunity to nominate and recognize those student-athletes who exemplify the “The Institute’s” motto of “Changing Lives Through the Power of Sport.” PlayMaker of the Month recipients are recognized in the months of October through June. “The Institute” exists to promote and advocate for diversity and inclusion, social justice, and ethical and moral leadership.




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