Who We Are

Ryan Sparks

Ryan Sparks mixes an interest in the impact of culture on human development with strategy, education and sport. After a painful initial undergraduate choice, he followed his passion for rowing and transferred schools. He completed Ph.D. coursework in Organizational Communication and coached rowing with the U.S. National Team and Yale University prior to starting his business at 28.   
 
“There isn’t a universal school or team culture that catalyzes athletic, personal or intellectual development,” says Sparks, “That said, every school and team has a culture. The question is whether it’s going to meet the student-athlete and encourage their specific potential.”  Ryan spent his initial postgraduate years as rowing coach at Bates College, Wesleyan University, and Yale University. Additionally, he held coaching positions in Canada, New Zealand and Germany. Ryan built Sparks Consulting after observing the impact of differing cultural norms on athletic development. 
 
Ryan’s work in athletic admissions with recruiting and admissions protocols led him to the belief that “holistic fit” is a natural precursor to success, and his firm achieved ninety-plus percent first choice admit rates on average over five hundred clients in its initial years. “Coaches want to recruit and admit kids they’re a good fit with—so do admissions departments. As such, each student’s athletic admissions process should be an exercise in growth to define themselves.”

Ryan remains forever fascinated by the intersection between culture, environment, and human potential. 

Experience

New England Small College Athletic Conference - Assistant Rowing Coach

The Ivy League Conference - Assistant Rowing Coach


Education

Undergraduate

Bates College, B.A.
History, Political Science

Additional Coursework

University of Colorado at Boulder, Organizational Communication

University of California IrvinePrinciples of Educational Consulting

Re-certifies on the NCAA recruiting examination annually