Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Chris Sparks
Assistant Coach
2009-10 Men's Basketball Coaches
PHONE: (219) 464-6967 EMAIL: Chris.Sparks@valpo.edu
Chris Sparks

Chris Sparks begins his fourth season as an assistant coach for the Valparaiso men’s basketball program in 2010-2011.  Sparks previously played for the Crusaders from 1997-2000, becoming the eighth former player under Homer Drew to return as an assistant coach.

Sparks was inducted into the Valparaiso University Hall of Fame in 2009 as part of the 1997-1998 men’s basketball team that advanced to the Sweet 16.  He was also recently recognized as one of the 150 most influential people in Valparaiso University’s 150 years, as part of the Sweet 16 squad.

With the Crusaders, Sparks assists with post and perimeter player development and recruiting.  He also serves as the team’s academic supervisor and travel coordinator.  Over his first three seasons, Valpo has won 46 games and earned a postseason berth, advancing to the quarterfinal round of the inaugural CBI.

Sparks arrived at Valpo coming off of a two-year head coaching stint for the Canterbury Rams of the New Zealand National Basketball League.  In his time as head coach, Sparks was nominated as a Coach of the Year finalist by Basketball New Zealand in 2006.  His responsibilities did not end with coaching, however, as he also had to work on recruiting both local and international players for the Rams.  Sparks was also responsible for organizing clinics and marketing the organziation, and also ran Chris Sparks Basketball Camps throughout New Zealand.

During his time with the Rams, Sparks recruited and developed the 2006 NBL scoring champion, Dennis Trammell, on the lowest import budget in the league.  He also recruited and developed four NBL top-10 Power Ranking players in his two seasons on the sidelines.  Two more of his players received contracts in the Australian National League after their time with the Rams.

Sparks was head coach for the undefeated Athletes in Action team tour of Poland in May 2008.  With only two days practice, the AIA team posted a 3-0 record with victories against the Polish Junior National and Silesian All-Star teams. The AIA tour team also was featured in the prestigious Polish National Coaches' clinic with over 300+ coaches from Poland and Europe. The team was comprised of players from Valpo, Baylor, Illinois, Drake, Creighton and Coastal Carolina.

Prior to his time in New Zealand, Sparks served from 2001-2005 as a volunteer assistant coach for Athletes in Action.  Sparks also played on one of AIA’s international tour teams during the summer of 1998, playing against clubs in Croatia and Switzerland.

Sparks spent three seasons with the Crusader basketball team, during which Valpo made the NCAA Tournament on three occasions, including the Sweet 16 season of 1998.  He was a part of two Mid-Continent Conference regular season championship squads and three Mid-Con Tournament championship teams.  Sparks played his first two seasons at Vincennes University, helping the Blazers to a sixth place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament in 1997.

Sparks received an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Vincennes in 1997 and graduated from Valparaiso with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 2000.

2009-10 Men's Basketball
Men's Basketball Coaches
Homer Drew
Head Coach
Bryce Drew
Associate Head Coach
Luke Gore
Assistant Coach
Chris Sparks
Assistant Coach
Dan Hartfield
Graduate Assistant
Jake Diebler
Student Assistant
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo