Oct. 9, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Ryan Sparks comes to Y150 from Bates College where he helped coach both the men and women's first and second varsity boats - including leading the men's team to a grand final finish at the ECAC National Championships and placing in the top three nationally in Division III, a first for the program.
Sparks has coached on every level of the sport from junior novices to pre-elites. He has worked with four different national rowing federations and held coaching jobs on three continents. Sparks just returned from Beijing this summer, where he did consulting work in conjunction with the Chinese rowing community prior to the 2008 Olympic Games. He worked as a coaching intern with elements of the German team prior to the 2004 Athens Games.
A Bates graduate, Sparks also assisted with the men's program at Wesleyan, sweeping the silver medals at the 2007 New England Rowing Championships. Prior to his time at Wesleyan, he was the frosh coach at Bates leading both the novice men and women to top four championship finishes. He has also worked with pre-elite and Olympic rowers from New Zealand and the United States. During his six year career in coaching, 88% of the crews he has worked directly with have made grand final appearances in their respective championship racing.
Sparks rowed at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN before rowing and coaching for the University of Otago (New Zealand) and Bates College as an undergraduate, graduating with a degree in history. He hopes to enter the School of Management at Yale to pursue an MBA.