Ryan McFarland picked to succeed his legendary coach

Former Bleacher Creature says he’s honored to carry on the tradition of Webb City Cardinals football

John Roderique’s successor to lead the Webb City Cardinal football program is his former player and current assistant coach, Ryan McFarland.

Webb City R-7 School Board members on Tuesday approved the administrative staff’s recommendation to promote McFarland.

“My passion for Webb City football started when I was a young elementary student coming to Cardinal Stadium to watch Friday night football games,” says McFarland, according to the district’s Facebook post.

He went from being a Bleacher Creature in the Jerry Kill and Kurt Thompson era, to become a player in the youth football program, during junior high and as a starter on the high school team.

He has dedicated the 20 years since then to coaching. “I am who I am today because of the Webb City School System and the Webb City football program,” says McFarland.

You could say his first sideline coaching experience was during his senior year when he couldn’t play because of a serious neck injury. He continued volunteering while going to college, and then he was hired as an assistant coach from 2006 to 2013. 

McFarland’s resume also indudes stints at Frontenac, Kan., Riverton, Kan., and Seneca, where he was the head coach from 2016 – 2020.

From Seneca, McFarland returned to Webb City to assist Roderique. He is also the high school weights instructor.

McFarland graduated from Webb City High School in 2001 and earned his bachelor’s degree at Missouri Southern State University. He earned his master of leadership in education from William Woods University.

McFarland and his wife, Samantha, have four daughters, Rylynn, Skylar, Reese and Saban.

“I am ready to start meeting with our coaching staff as we put together a plan for the future,” McFarland says. “Lastly, I am most excited to continue building relationships with the players as we build on the storied tradition of Webb City football.”

Roderique announced a month ago that his 26th season as Cardinals coach would be his last.