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Meet Our Scholars

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Whit Ryan

University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Sport and Performance Psychology



Whit Ryan was born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended an all-girls school. As a semi-out, queer student in a conservative environment, Whit struggled but found a path by embracing academics and sports as ports in the storm. In the years since graduating from high school, he has received a bachelor’s degree in Technical Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder, co-founded and was Executive Director for a not-for-profit performing arts company, and become a professional chef. He has also coached hundreds of athletes through the United States Field Hockey Association, achieved a national rating as a field hockey umpire, and was selected to play on the U.S. Men’s Master’s Field Hockey Team. In a perfect circle, he now consults with his alma mater and other schools to help them embrace their gender-non-conforming students, and in particular has developed a passion for creating safe space for LGBTQ athletes in the sports of their choice. As a student, leader, athlete, coach and umpire, Whit has embraced opportunities both professional and informal to encourage support of queer students and athletes in many venues. Pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Sport and Performance Psychology allows him to expand his ability to learn and lend strength and wisdom in increasingly powerful and compelling ways.

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