Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sport Studies

Major Professor

Robin Hardin

Committee Members

Jeffrey Graham, Rebecca Zakrajsek, Jennifer Morrow


Coaches have a significant impact on the sport performances and experiences of student-athletes. Further, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has continued to professionalize and grow into a multibillion-dollar business. Despite the coaches’ importance and the evolution of the NCAA, human resource practices, specifically performance management of coaches in NCAA athletic departments, is scarcely examined. This leaves a significant gap in the literature and potentially fuels the epidemic of mental health challenges among student-athletes as well as litigation within athletic departments. Therefore, this study sought to fill this gap in the literature and describe the performance management systems for coaches within NCAA, Division I athletic departments. This study employed a mixed-methods approach using surveys and document analysis. Participants were NCAA, Division I coaches (n=310) and NCAA, Division I athletic administrators with direct sport oversight responsibilities (n=208). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Results describe the phenomenon of performance management within NCAA athletic departments through the lens of a four-component operationalization of performance management. Further, the results elicit coach and administrator perceptions relative to the four-components of performance management. Theoretical and practical implications as well as study limitations and future research are discussed.

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