By Alicia Couch Payne

Ryan Wood, BHS Class of 2004 seen here with his future wife, Erin Pridemore.  

Ryan Wood, a 2004 Buford High School graduate was born in Alpharetta, Ga. to Dexter and Martha Wood.  Ryan came to Buford as a freshman and was highly involved in school activities. He participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, track and field, basketball and football. He shined most as a wide receiver for the football team, that his father coached.

Ryan stated that being the son of the head football coach was no easy feat for him but said it was the best experience he could ask for. “It certainly carried some pressure being the coach’s son, but he handled the dad/coach balance perfectly”. Ryan said he cherishes those 4 years, “looking back on them and all the memories we made together as father/son coach/player.”

While at Buford, Ryan set the school record for the most career receptions with 70.  He helped his team to three straight state titles and 45 consecutive wins. His junior year, Ryan caught 29 passes for 455 yards, had four touchdowns, and earned second-team all-area and all-county honors.  In his senior year, he was selected as team captain. He caught 30 passes for 555 yards, had three touchdowns and earned first-team all-area and all-county honors. He was also selected to play in Georgia’s North-South All-Star game.

Following his successful career at Buford, Ryan went on to play football for Duke University in Durham, NC where he was a four-year letterman at for football.  He played in 42 games, caught five passes for 32 yards, and returned four punts for 11 yards. Ryan went on to earn a sociology degree with a markets and management certificate in 2008.  In 2009, he earned his graduate degree in humanities.

Ryan, his wife Erin, and their three daughters.

In 2008, Ryan married his high school sweetheart, Erin Pridemore.  Ryan credits Coach Jess Simpson with being in on the plan to set the two up together.  It worked because Ryan and his wife have been going strong since the 10th grade. They have three lovely daughters McKinley (5), Madison (3), and Molly Kate (1).

Following college, Ryan started working in the industrial and logistics real estate business. He got his start following an internship with The Dilweg Companies in Durham, NC which was founded by former Duke quarterback, Anthony Dilweg.

Afterward, Ryan returned to Buford and worked on projects in the Hamilton Mill Business Center that was developed by IDI Logistics. Ryan said “It’s been a highlight for me to work with the City of Buford on these projects”, which ultimately bring investment and jobs to the city as well as tax revenue to support the school system that Ryan graduated from.“It’s exciting how things come full circle”, Ryan said about having the opportunity to give back to the community he says he received so much from, “it’s very rewarding.”

In January, Ryan made the next step in his career.  He became the Senior Director of Industrial Development & Acquisitions for a company named Hines.  Ryan will lead the Southeast Region’s industrial and logistics platform for the global real estate investment firm.  Hines was founded in 1957 and has assets worth $111 billion under their management in 201 cities located in 24 countries around the globe.

When asked about his future ambitions, Ryan said he plans, “To be the best father and husband to my three girls and Erin and make a positive impact in our city.”  

Ryan was a hard worker and a leader on and off the field in high school and college.  He was driven then to be successful and that is still something he possesses to this day.  Ryan exemplifies what a Wolf should be — hard-working, driven, and is community and family oriented. Once a Wolf, always a Wolf.

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