Who We Are

Dave Payne

Dave heads Sparks’ experiential education program. Before assuming the overall sport camp director position, Dave spent three southern hemisphere winters directing the Sparks rowing development program in Dunedin, New Zealand. Prior to his time in New Zealand, Dave spent five summers as a counselor and programming director for an immersion program for domestic and international high school students; three in Boston and two in Florence.

Dave has worked at Sparks since 2011. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Education and an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of California at San Diego. 

After completing a successful athletic career at UCSD, Dave worked his first coaching job at Gippsland Grammar in Australia. He has also served as high school rowing coach and teacher in San Diego and New York City and holds a deep passion for education, both domestically and abroad.


High School Head Rowing Coach



University of California at San Diego, B.S.
Chemical Education


University of California at San Diego, M.S.