A native of Marian, Mass., Sylvia established a number of career and seasonal records for Springfield College. The team's overall record in 2003 and 2004, when he led the team, was 18-3.
Said Dougall in a piece in the Boston Herald, "Ryan is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable educator who will continue the tradition of infusing our Catholic school mission into our football program while fostering the highest ideals of sportsmanship." Sylvia lettered in four varsity sports at Old Rochester Regional High School, earning SCC All-Conference honors as the quarterback.
Ryan then attended Springfield College where he earned a bachelor of science degree in Movement and Sport Studies. As an undergrad, he captained the football team in 2004, and was a four-year varsity letter-winner. Not only was he named the ECAC Division III Player of the Year in 2004, he was also an ECAC Championship Game Most Outstanding Player that same year.
Sylvia began his coaching career as the junior varsity head coach and varsity quarterbacks coach at Springfield College, where he also earned his master's degree in Education and Athletic Administration. At Springfield, he coached All-American quarterback Chris Sharpe '08, the 2006 Melberger National Player of the Year Award winner who went on to surpass many of Sylvia's school records. He was also an assistant at Barnstable High School, offensive coordinator at Half Hollow Hills High School in Long Island, and varsity assistant this past year at Bishop Stang under Bill Kavanaugh, who is retiring after 40 years in education.