Ryan Higginbotham was named an assistant coach at TCU in January 2012. Now in his seventh season with the program, he serves as the top recruiting assistant as well as coaching the field players.
Since he came to campus, Higginbotham has been a force to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail. His reach has stretched from coast to coast and had an international flair in 2014 with the signing of Karitas Tommasdottir from Iceland and Cachet LueHear how to pronounce Cachet Lue from Canada. His first class featured 15 talented players and was ranked in the top 50 nationally. The 2014 signing class was just as strong with 17 players from around the country. In 2015, the recruiting class featured eight more talented newcomers.
The TCU name continues to grow and while small in number, the 2016 group is large in international experience and talent. The group of seven features three student-athletes with national team experience. Another talented group with more international flair headed to campus in the fall of 2017 as 15 newcomers signed with the program. A group of seven talented newcomers makes their way to campus in 2018. The class was ranked No. 15 by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
TCU has qualified for the Big 12 championships each of his six seasons on campus. Three times the Horned Frogs have made waves in the tournament, advancing to the tournament championship game in 2012, 2016 and 2017.
The Horned Frogs' tournament run coupled with an undefeated non-conference schedule led to the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2016. They backed up that appearance with a second-straight berth in 2017.
Since Day 1, his recruits have made immediate impacts on the field. In 2013, Michelle ProkofHear how to pronounce Michelle Prokof splashed onto the collegiate landscape, leading the team with 17 points. Her eight goals ranked fifth in the league. Another freshman, Lauren SajewichHear how to pronounce Lauren Sajewich, played every minute of every game in 2013. Bobbi Clemmer became the first Horned Frog since 2009 to earn first-team all-conference accolades and she backed it up with another all-conference campaign as a junior. She became the first two-time all-conference performer since Jordan Calhoun to close out her career in 2015.
The 2014 season saw a freshman lead the squad in scoring for the second straight season as Emma Heckendorn tallied five goals as part of 13 points. In 2015, Prokof and Heckendorn joined Clemmer on the all-conference squad, giving TCU its most all-conference performers since the 2008 campaign. Heckendorn, Prokof and Cachet Lue headlined the postseason honors for the Frogs in 2016.
In 2017, TCU put together yet another successful campaign with a school-record three All-Conference performers. For the first time since 2010, the Frogs produced a pair of first-team honorees in Katie Lund and Ryan Williams. Freshmen Yazmeen RyanHear how to pronounce Yazmeen Ryanand Tijana DjuricekHear how to pronounce Tijana Djuricek were recognized by the league and around the country as two of the top first-year players in the country. Another first came as Williams was drafted by the North Carolina Courage.
On the field, the squad put up impressive numbers en route to a 12-7-3 record. The 35 assists were third-most all-time, while the 103 points ranked fifth all-time. Heckendorn and Allison Ganter left their marks on the record book. Heckendorn leaves as TCU's career-leader in assists (22) and ranked 10th in goals (17) and fifth in points (56). Ganter ranked eighth in goals (18) and ninth in points (46).
Offensively in 2016, the Frogs tallied the second-most assists (40), points (114) and tied for fifth all-time in goals scored (37). Prokof departed TCU ranked in the top-5 of all offensive categories. Her 27 goals are tied for the second-most, while her 68 points are third all-time and her 14 assists are tied for sixth-most.
Prior to 2016's offensive outburst, the 2015 team was one of the most offensive in program history, totaling 97 points (32 goals, 33 assists). It was the fifth-most points in school history and the most since the 2008 campaign. The 33 total assists on the year ranked second all-time. Makenzie KochHear how to pronounce Makenzie Koch finished her career with 15 assists, the third highest-total for a student-athlete at TCU.
In his first season on campus, he helped guide the program to new heights in the ultra-competitive Big 12. The squad advanced to its first-ever conference tournament championship, coming within one win of advancing to the NCAA Tournament. TCU tied a school-record with eight shutouts on the season and Monica Alvarado scored a career-high seven goals for the Frogs. Clemmer was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team, while four Horned Frogs earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Tournament team.
The Dallas native joined the Horned Frogs' coaching staff after serving as the Director of Coaching for the girls division at the Dallas Texans Soccer Club. Higginbotham was responsible for overseeing all girls teams within the Texas Club since June 2007. While with the Texans, the club claimed four national championships, including the 2011 U19 USYSA National Championship and 2011 U16 USYSA National League title. Higginbotham was named the 2009 NSCAA Girls Youth National and Regional Coach of the Year. Higginbotham also served as the Director of Coaching from 2003-2006 and has been a Region III staff coach for the US Olympic Development Program since 2008.
Higginbotham's most recent collegiate position was as an assistant coach for the men's soccer program at Akron from March 2006 to June 2007. While with the Zips, his duties included that of the recruiting coordinator and organizing team travel. He coached eight all-conference players, including the MAC Most Valuable Player and an NSCAA All-American. Of his two recruiting classes at Akron, the Zips welcomed three US Youth National Team members, one Canadian Youth National Team member and a former Arsenal (England) youth player.
Higginbotham also spent two seasons with the men's soccer program at Furman University, helping the Paladins to four Southern Conference regular season championships and three league tournament crowns.
He and his wife, Julie, were married in March of 2006. The couple has a son, Brayden, and a daughter, Olivia.