Ryan Thompson is a 2004 graduate of Branford High School where he was a four-year letterman and captain in both swimming and golf. Ryan began his swimming career in Branford as a member of the Stingray program under the direction of HOF coach George Miles before competing for Branford High School under the guidance of another HOF coach Rich Thompson. Ryan had a very successful high school career where he contributed to helping the team win the Class M State Championship in 2000-2001. In his senior year he won the individual state title in the 100 yard breaststroke, with a school record time that still remains today. Ryan was named to the All-Area and All-State Team in 2004.
Next stop for Ryan was a four-year stint at UConn where he was a walk on with this NCAA Division I swim team. Ryan was a Big East Qualifier all four years and his hard work and determination was rewarded when he became a Big East Finalist while recording times in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke that ranked in the top ten all time for UConn. He was awarded Most Improved Swimmer during his junior year while also competing as a winter National Qualifier for the Huskies. At the National Meet Ryan’s UConn relay team competed in the lane next to the relay team that contained Michael Phelps. Ryan was elected captain by his peers as a senior. He was named to the Big East Academic All-Star team all four years and received the “Squires Leadership Award”. In 2008, he graduated from UConn with a degree in Actuarial Science.
Ryan is currently an Actuarial Analyst for Milliman Inc. in Windsor, Connecticut. Milliman is a consulting firm, among the world’s largest provider of actuarial and related products and services. Ryan works directly with the actuaries to produce and communicate the results of analysis and calculations necessary to complete client pension products.
After a few years of being removed from the athletic stage, Ryan found a unique way to get back into sports. If you have attended a Yale sporting event, a Connecticut Sun basketball game or New England Black Wolves Lacrosse event you have seen Ryan. In 2010, he became the Yale University Mascot “Boola” at Football, Basketball and Hockey games working with Yale’s Marketing Director to establish “Boola” as a recognizable figure at sporting and community events. In 2013 he took on the additional role as the mascot “Blaze” for the Connecticut Sun WNBA team. He added to this in 2015 when he also became the mascot “Hunter” for the New England Black Wolves, a professional Lacrosse team at Mohegan Sun. Today he continues to display high energy and creativity in these roles while working with the marketing department in developing game skits and special promotions.
Ryan resides in Madison and is engaged to Valarie DelRocco who will become his bride in June 2018. We are proud to induct Ryan into the Branford Sports Hall of Fame.