Dos Equis had it all wrong when the beer company casted actor Jonathan Goldsmith as its “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign. It missed out on Ryan Doherty.
Even amongst a group of peers with circuitous routes into beach volleyball, Doherty’s path has been exceptionally itinerant. A star pitcher out of the baseball-mad town of Toms River, New Jersey, Doherty threw for Notre Dame in college. He left early, going undrafted but getting scooped up by the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he spent two years in the minor leagues, years filled with long bus rides, pitching well, pitching not so well – until he got the call from the manager’s office. Doherty was cut.
It was, as rock bottom moments can often be, a watershed moment for Doherty, as serendipitous as it was crushing.
After couch surfing for a bit in South Carolina, where he was routinely beaten down in beach volleyball by high schoolers, Doherty had made up his mind: He was moving to California, and he was going to play professional beach volleyball.
Since, the 7-foot-1 – well, 7-foot-and-a-half – blocker has partnered with Olympians Casey Patterson, Nick Lucena, Todd Rogers and John Hyden. He has beaten Phil Dalhausser. He has represented the United States internationally and domestically, becoming a mainstay on both the AVP and FIVB Tours.
Doherty discusses all of that and a great deal more on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter.
Catch the episode at VolleyballMag.com!
In case you missed it: SANDCAST No. 1: The new Tri Bourne — Buddha Tri Bourne.