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What Do Athletic Directors Do? An Overview for Students Interested in Sports Management Careers

Mar 28, 2019 9:23:18 PM / by Geneva Business School

sports management programs

A lot of work goes into building and maintaining a successful school athletic program: choosing the right coaches, balancing the needs of different sports and teams, and allocating scarce resources to ensure that every group gets the support they need to thrive in their respective fields, among other things. A skilled athletic director can help student athletes meet their potential, help raise the funds needed to buy new equipment and cover travel costs, and ultimately raise the profile of their school and program.

At high schools and universities, all of these fall under the athletic director’s umbrella of responsibilities. In charge of guiding a school’s athletic program and managing the various administrative and organizational needs associated with it, athletic directors are the cornerstone of any successful athletic program.

For those with a passion for school sports, as well as excellent organizational and multitasking skills, becoming an athletic director can be an incredibly rewarding career path.

Oversee a High School or University Athletic Program

An athletic director oversees the entirety of a school’s athletic program or department, whether at the high school or university level. This typically comes with a broad range of responsibilities, with the athletic director playing an essential role in the success of a school’s sports programs.

One of an athletic director’s most important duties is hiring and supervising coaches and other department employees. For large schools, this could mean overseeing a fairly large staff, with different coaches for each sport included in a school’s athletic program. Like professionals in many other sports management careers, athletic directors don’t typically work directly with athletes, but they do often offer guidance and direction to their coaches, indirectly influencing and shaping a team’s performance.

Athletic Directors Are Responsible for Funding and Scheduling

Athletic directors are also responsible for ensuring that sports are well-funded and have all of the equipment and resources they need to thrive. They do this by creating the athletic department’s budget and allocating funds, and sometimes by helping to raise money through events and soliciting donations from alumni and community members.

In terms of their organizational responsibilities, athletic directors are responsible for scheduling games and practices, often in collaboration with coaches. When scheduling conflicts or difficulties arise, it is their responsibility to resolve them. In the course of scheduling, athletic directors sometimes need to make difficult decisions about how best to allocate the resources a school has on hand, including fields, courts, and weight rooms.

sports management courses

Students at GBS learn about the strategic management of sports organizations

Skills You’ll Need to Become an Athletic Director after Sports Management Courses

In order to make complex decisions about how to allocate resources, how to grow a school’s athletic program, and how to make sure that coaches and athletes have the resources and support they require to succeed, athletic directors draw on a range of diverse skills, as well as the knowledge and experience they’ve gained through their sports management courses and career.

In order to thrive in the position, excellent organizational abilities are a significant asset, as are problem solving skills, the ability to multitask, and experience or coursework in budgeting and finance. Having a passion for school sports and helping student athletes meet their potential will also help sports management graduates succeed in this highly rewarding role.

sports management careers

The MBA program in Sports Management at GBS prepares students for a career in the sports industry

Are you interested in a career as an athletic director?

Contact Geneva Business School for more information about our sports management programs.

Topics: sports management courses, sports management programs, sports management careers

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