Joan Ryan

Author, Sportswriter

Joan Ryan is an award-winning journalist, author and sports media consultant.

Her groundbreaking book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters was named one of the “Top 100 Sports Books of All Time’’ by Sports Illustrated. Her book Molina: The Story of a Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty was a finalist for the 2015 PEN Literary Award.

Ryan’s fifth book, Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry, will be published by Little, Brown in late April. Nearly 10 years in the making, Intangibles takes readers into the subculture of locker rooms and pulls from a range of science disciplines – neuroscience, sociology, psychology and more – to make the case that chemistry is a biological construct with a single function: to elevate performance.

Ryan was a pioneer in sports journalism as one of the first female sports columnists in the country. In her 25-year newspaper career, she covered every major sporting event from the Super Bowl and the World Series to the Olympics and championship fights. Among other honors, she has been the recipient of 13 Associated Press Sports Editors awards and the prestigious Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents Association.

Ryan is also senior media advisor to the San Francisco Giants.