School of Health and Human Sciences

David L. Wyrick

David L. Wyrick, Ph.D.
Ph.D. in Educational Research Methodology, University of North Carolina Greensboro
Office: 1613 MHRA
Phone: 336-334-4501
Curriculum Vitae
Institute to Promote Athlete Wellness

Brief Bio

Personal Introduction

Dr. David Wyrick and familyI live in Greensboro, NC with my wife (Dr. Cheryl Haworth Wyrick) and 3 daughters (Katherine, Caroline, and Elizabeth). As a family we enjoy travel and adventure, especially spending as much time as possible in Maine during the summers. I am a former 2-sport student-athlete at Elon University where I played basketball and ran track. I also met Cheryl at Elon and we have been married for over 25 years. Sport remains an important part of my life and I have enjoyed coaching many of my daughters’ teams over the years. I’m also an avid reader, enjoy walking, and spending time with my family and friends.

Professional Profile

Dr. David L. Wyrick is a Professor of Public Health Education at UNC Greensboro (UNCG) where he is the Founding Director of the Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness as well as the UNCG Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) to the NCAA. As a prevention scientist, Dr. Wyrick has extensive experience in prevention research, evaluation, and the optimization of behavioral interventions. Additionally, he studies factors that influence the dissemination, adoption and sustainability of evidence-based programs and initiatives. He has served as Principal Investigator/Co-Investigator for more than 20 National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded projects and has published extensively. Dr. Wyrick is also the President of Prevention Strategies, LLC, a small business he spun out of his work at UNCG. Prevention Strategies is focused on applied prevention science and taking behavioral interventions to scale.

  • Ph.D. in Educational Research Methodology, School of Education, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • MPH in Public Health Education, Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science, The College of Arts & Science,  Elon University

Class Schedule Fall 2022

  • HEA 701 – 01 Promoting and Protecting Health through Entrepreneurship

Research Interests

I have extensive experience in applied prevention research including the use of the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) as a framework for optimizing behavioral interventions. For more than 20 years I have been leading National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other externally funded projects to develop, test, and disseminate behavioral interventions. My primary focus is aimed at translating existing research into evidence-based approaches to promote well-being among adolescents and young adults by reducing substance misuse, promoting mental health, increasing concussion reporting, preventing sexual violence, promoting sleep wellness, preventing hazing, and promoting tolerance.

In July 2013, I founded the Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness, a research institute aimed at advancing my research in applying the goals of prevention science to improve the well-being of youth, adolescent, and young adult athletes. The mission of IPAHW is to improve the health and well-being of athletes, through the translation of prevention research to effective programs, policies, and practices. Under my leadership, IPAHW supports the (1) research and development of evidence-based health promotion programs, practices, and policies through externally and self-funded research, (2) evaluation of programs, practices, and policies and (3) the dissemination of research and evaluation findings. IPAHW partners with several organizations that govern and serve various athlete populations. Partners include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the National Football League (NFL), the NFL Players Association (NFL-PA), the U.S. Center for Safe Sport, the United States Anti-doing Agency (USADA), the National Center for Drug Free Sport, and various collegiate conferences, state-level high school athletic, and coaching associations. IPAHW provides me with a nationally recognized platform from which to conduct and disseminate my research. I’ve been invited to sit on numerous national and international task forces, advisory panels, and knowledge groups specific to athlete well-being.

As an applied prevention scientist, I have prioritized my responsibility to disseminate effective behavioral interventions that result from my research to maximize their public health impact. When interviewing for the faculty position at UNCG in 2006, I was introduced to the concept of technology transfer. Upon taking the job at UNCG, I spun out a small for-profit R&D company (Prevention Strategies, LLC) through UNCG’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization. In an article published in the Triad Business Journal shortly after the formation of Prevention Strategies, the Director of the Office of Innovation and Commercialization was quoted as saying, “the university is excited about Prevention Strategies’ future and its relationship to UNCG. It is the type of new initiative that is part of the university’s strategic plan.” Evidence-based programs can only have meaningful impact if they are effectively taken to scale, implemented with high quality, and sustained over time. Prevention Strategies has allowed me to create an infrastructure for commercializing and disseminating the behavioral interventions that result from my research.

myPlaybook is an example of my research to develop, optimize, evaluate, and scale up of behavioral interventions. With funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), I led the implementation of the MOST framework to develop, optimize, and evaluate myPlaybook, an online intervention designed to promote well-being among collegiate student-athletes. Prevention Strategies then led efforts to disseminate myPlaybook across collegiate athletics. The result of those efforts is that myPlaybook has been adopted by the National Collegiate Association (NCAA) and the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). myPlaybook is made available annually to all NCAA freshman student-athletes (approximately 125,000) and all NAIA student-athletes (approximately 60,000).

Current Projects

Title: Development of an Opioid Misuse Prevention Program for Young Adult Workers in the Construction Industry Funded by : National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Funding amount: $224,998 Brief Description: This project will significantly and positively contribute to a body of research aimed at preventing prescription opioid misuse among young adult construction trade workers.

Title: APC: A Collaborative Approach to Reduce Time between Concussion Symptom Onset and Treatment Funded by: National Institute on Nursing Research (NINR) Funding Amount: $224,999 Brief Description: This project will significantly and positively contribute to a body of research aimed at decreasing the time between injury, onset of symptoms, and medical treatment of concussion of youth sport athletes.

Title: Engineering an Online STI Prevention Program Funded by: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Funding Amount: $2,974,895 Brief Description: This project is implementing the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) to develop and test an Internet-based behavioral intervention targeting the intersection of alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors in college students.

Title: Factors Impacting Bystander Behavior in Alcohol-Related Contexts Funded by: McCrae Williams Foundation Funding Amount: $65,692 Brief Description: The goal of this project is to conduct research to better understand what drives decision-making among collegiate student-athletes to call for help (e.g., knowledge, motivation, contextual pressures or supports, policy) in alcohol-related incidents. This formative understanding of the problem will directly inform how we go about developing and implementing interventions that are effective in encouraging students to call for help when needed.

Title: Evaluation of the InsideOut Initiative Funded by: NFL Foundation Funding Amount: $600,000 Brief Description: The NFL Foundation is supporting and implementing a Blueprint for Systemic Change in interscholastic sports. This initiative has been created by Joe Ehrmann, former NFL player and founder of Coach for America, whose mission is to inform, inspire and initiate individual, community and societal change through sports and coaching; and Jody Redman, Associate Director of the Minnesota State High School League. Two of the broad goals of the project are to 1) clearly define the purpose of sports in children’s lives; and 2) align school communities around this purpose.

Title: Implementation and Dissemination of myPlaybook Funded by: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Funding Amount: $900,000 Brief Description: This project is studying the implementation and dissemination of myPlaybook across the NCAA using a framework based on the Diffusion of Innovations.

Title: Evaluation of keepin’ it REAL as Implemented by D.A.R.E. Officers Funded by: D.A.R.E. America Funding Amount: $900,000 Brief Description: This project is evaluating the elementary and middle school versions of the evidence-based keepin’ it REAL curriculum as implemented by D.A.R.E. officers.

Selected Publications

Examples of Contributions to Science

Student-Athlete Alcohol Use Sanders, L., Dudley, W., Milroy, J. J. & Wyrick, D. L. (2019). Profiling of Student-Athletes using Protective Behavioral Strategies and Alcohol Use Based on Cluster Analysis Assignment. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 20(2),

Zamboanga, B.L., Merrill, J.E., Olthuis, J.V., Milroy, J.J., & Wyrick, D.L. (2019). Effects of myPlaybook on college athletes’ avoidance of drinking games or pregaming as a protective behavior strategy: A multisite randomized controlled study. Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs.

Longo, L.M., Martin, J.L., Zamboanga, B.L., Milroy, J.J., & Wyrick, D.L. (2018). Gender and ethnic differences in heavy drinking and protective behavioral strategies among student-athletes. Journal of Ethnicity and Substance Abuse.


Iterative Implementation of the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST)

Wyrick, D.L., Tanner, A., Milroy, J., Guastefero, K., Bhandari, S., & Collins, L.M. (In Press). itMatters: Optimization of an online intervention to prevent sexually transmitted infections in college students. Journal of American College Health.

Kugler, K.C., Wyrick, D.L., Tanner, A., Milroy, J., Chamber, B.D., Ma, A., & Collins, L.M. (2018). Using the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) to Develop an Optimized Online STI Preventive Intervention Aimed at College Students: Description of Conceptual Model and Protocol. In L. M. Collins & K. C. Kugler (Eds.), Optimization of Multicomponent Behavioral, Biobehavioral, and Biomedical Interventions: Advanced Topics. New York, NY: Springer.

Wyrick, D.L., Rulison, K.L., Fearnow-Kenney, M., Milroy, J.J., & Collins, L. (2014). Moving beyond the treatment package approach to developing behavioral interventions: Addressing questions that arose during an application of the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST). Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy and Research. doi: 10.1007/s13142-013-0247-7


Student-Athlete Well-Being Milroy JJ, Sanders, L, Rulison, K, & Wyrick, DL. (In Press). Using the Integrated Behavioral Model to Determine Sport-Related Concussion Reporting Intentions Among Collegiate Athletes. Journal of Adolescent Health. Milroy, J. J., Wyrick, D. L., Sanders, L., Refisteck E. J., Beamon, E. (2019). Student-athlete concussion disclosure and coach communication within collegiate athletics. Journal of Concussion, DOI: 10.1177/2059700219894104 Kroshus, E., Wagner, J., Wyrick, D.L., Athey, A., Bell, L., Benjamin, H., Grandner, M., Kline, C.E., Mohler, J., Prichard, J.R., Watson, N.F. & Hainline, B. (2019). Sleep and collegiate athletes: narrative review and consensus recommendations. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 53: 731-736.