OU-South Dakota Game Serves as Special Setting for Patriot of the Game

OU-South Dakota Game Serves as Special Setting for Patriot of the Game

When United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Ryan Bibb’s reenlistment came up this year, his family wanted to make it special by connecting the occasion to something he loved – OU football. So, his sister, Tamarah Bibb, began searching for ways to make it happen.

After a few ideas fell through, Tamarah learned about the OU Extended Campus Patriot of the Game. Patriot of the Game honors military service members at home football games, as well as various men’s and women’s basketball games, baseball games and softball games. 

When Tamarah saw OU would be playing South Dakota this football season, she knew she’d found just the thing to honor her brother and celebrate his 15 years in the Navy.

“Since he’s assigned to the USS South Dakota, we knew getting him to that game would be perfect." - Tamarah Bibb

“Since he’s assigned to the USS South Dakota, we knew getting him to that game would be perfect,” she said. 

Ryan has served as the fire control technician leading chief petty officer and weapons department enlisted advisor on the USS South Dakota SSN-790 since 2016. Prior to the boat being commissioned on Feb. 2, 2019, he trained, led and advised the officers and crew through sea trials and many other tests to deliver her to the U.S. Navy.

Tamarah followed through with her plan and nominated Ryan for Patriot of the Game. Before knowing for sure he had been chosen, plans were made for Ryan and his family, who live in Connecticut, to be in town the weekend of the OU vs. South Dakota game. 

“When we learned he was going to be honored as Patriot of the Game during the South Dakota game, we actually kind of freaked out,” Tamarah said. “He was supposed to be in town, but they postponed their trip. I called his wife and told her she had to get him here, so she told him he had to put in for leave.”

Despite the hiccup, the Bibb family made it to Norman, and they were all there Sept. 7 when Ryan was honored at the end of the first quarter during the OU-South Dakota football game. Tamarah said it was a true bonding experience for her entire family.

“My dad is from Oklahoma City, so he raised my brother and I as Sooner fans. We grew up in the Dallas area, so we had to go through a lot of grief,” she said. “I went to OU, and we all have a passion for Sooner football and OU in general, so seeing him honored was really, really freaking awesome. They really rolled out the red carpet and gave us a great experience.”

Ryan entered the Navy in the Delayed Entry Program in October 2003. Following recruit training, he completed Basic Enlisted Submarine School, Advanced Technical Training, Technical Networking Operations and Fire Control Technician School.

He reported to the USS Nebraska SSBN-739 in January 2006, completing eight nuclear deterrent patrols. He served as the first lieutenant and fire control technician leading petty officer and was promoted to first class petty officer, receiving two Battle “E” Efficiency awards and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

In December 2011, he transferred to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, where he served as a water survival instructor and lead petty officer of basic naval orientation and curriculum development, training more than 30,000 recruits per year.

In February 2015, he transferred to the USS Florida SSGN-728, where he completed two deployments, including five missions in CENTCOM and AFRICOM that significantly contributed to national security. While attached to USS Florida, he received many awards and was advanced to chief petty officer.

He and his wife, Anne, have a son, Landry, a daughter, Ellie, and are expecting another son in January. He is set to go to shore duty in the next few months, where he will test the war readiness of submarines.

Do you know someone who deserves to be Patriot of the Game? Visit patriot.pacs.ou.edu and tell us why.

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.