Ryan Zapalac

Ryan Zapalac

Ryan K. Zapalac

Interim Dean, Professor



LDB 201

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Ryan Zapalac serves as the Interim Dean for the College of Health Sciences and as a Professor within the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Zapalac joined SHSU in 2006 after spending two years at Rice University as a faculty member within the Sport Management program. He teaches courses related to sport management, sport marketing, event and facility management, and sport consumers.

His primary areas of research are in sport fan behaviors, sport consumer behaviors, sport marketing, psychological burnout, and Reversal Theory applications. During his career, Dr. Zapalac has authored over 20 refereed manuscripts, six book chapters, and has presented over 40 national/international conference presentations, including two keynote addresses. As a faculty member in the M.S. in Sport Management program, he also served as the Sport Management Internship Coordinator from 2008 – 2018.

Dr. Zapalac possesses a passion for helping students accomplish their professional goals. He previously served on the university’s First-Gen Committee, which is focused on providing optimal collegiate experiences for first-generation students, and is a first-generation college graduate himself. Dr. Zapalac also served on the Faculty Senate from 2016 – 2018 and was Chair of the Faculty Senate - Faculty Affairs Committee in 2017 – 2018. Currently, he serves on SHSU’s Academic Integrity Committee.

Our students have interned at a wide variety of sport organizations including BBVA Compass Stadium, FC Dallas, the Frisco Rough riders, the Houston Aeros, the Houston Astros, the Houston Dynamo, the Houston Rockets, the Houston Texans, Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, SMG at NRG Park, the SHSU Athletic Department, the SHSU Recreational Sports Department, the Texas A&M-Commerce Athletic Department, the University of Texas-El Paso Athletic Department, and the Greater Houston YMCA.


    • Ph.D. in Kinesiology, University of Houston, 2004
    • M.Ed. in Physical Education – Sport and Fitness Administration, University of Houston, 2001
    • B.S. in Kinesiology, University of Houston, 1998

Selected Publications

  • Wann, D. L., Zapalac, R. K., Grieve, F. G., & Peetz, T. B. (2021). The influence of fantasy sport participation on fans’ perceptions of the impact of the legalization of sport wagering. Findings in Sport, Hospitality, Entertainment, and Event Management. Link: https://www.memphis.edu/wilson/research/9-fantasy_sport_and_sport_wagering-finsheem.pdf / Video Summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ac5N9gzc3s
  • Zapalac, R. K., Miller, J. J., & Miller, S. (2019). A case when you can’t fool Mother Nature: Understanding and addressing issues linked to organizational decisions stemming from a natural disaster. Case Studies in Sport Management, 8(1), 38 - 43.
  • Wann, D. L., Zapalac, R. K., Grieve, F. G., Partridge, J. A., & Lanter, J. R. (2015). An examination of sport fans’ perceptions of the impact of the legalization of sport wagering on their fan experience. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, 19(2), 21-40.
  • Wann, D. L., Grieve, F. G., Zapalac, R. K., & Pease, D. G. (2008). Motivational profiles of sport fans of different sports. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 17(1), 6-19. (Named one of Sport Marketing Quarterly’s “20 for 20” articles celebrating the 20 articles that have made the largest impact on the discipline in the 1st 20 years of SMQ).

Honors and Awards

  • Nominated for the SHSU Excellence in Teaching Award, 2019
  • Nominated for the TAHPERD Scholar Award, 2019, 2018
  • Member of the inaugural SHSH High Potential Employee Leadership Academy, 2013 - 2014