Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Sport Studies

Major Professor

Robin L. Hardin

Committee Members

Lars Dzikus, Steven N. Waller


The study collected occupational data from the 99 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I membership institutions head athletic directors. The purpose of this study was to identify common professional preparation and occupational characteristics among NCAA Division I athletic directors. Through issuing an electronic survey, the current study identified common characteristics and themes among Division I athletic directors specifically within the socio-demographical background, educational background, professional experience and career progression, and career and job satisfaction. The study also provided demographic information about the participant’s institutional athletic department. The necessity of this study is not due directly to the current lack of current literature and research within the collegiate administration, rather in reference to literature examining the athletic administration occupational field. The study provides an occupational framework in regards to the career progression, training, and characteristics of NCAA Division I athletic director career field. The study’s purpose was to examine the career growth of NCAA Division I athletic directors, as well as evaluate the demographic and socio-demographics characteristics of the NCAA Division I athletic director. The research and data collected from the study’s participants provided the author the opportunity to create a profile of the athletic administration career field and more specifically, the detailed qualities sought in a NCAA Division I athletic director. The results from the study are beneficial to aspiring persons that wish to work in the field of collegiate athletics administration by correlating common occupational framework for educational requirements, professional experience and years necessary to gather the appropriate experience and also to identify an overview of the job and career satisfaction common among current NCAA Division I athletic directors. In doing so, the study utilized homosocial reproduction as its theoretical framework. The study’s results concluded that the field of athletic administration, and specifically NCAA Division I athletic directors are disproportionally white males (89% white, 90% male), and further examined the educational and professional background characteristics and experiences which lead to this occupational characteristic.

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