This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examining Career Patterns of Football Bowl Subdivision Directors of Athletics




Mines, David

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The career path to become a collegiate athletics director is an area of interest to young professionals who seek this position. This study examined Football Bowl Subdivision Directors of Athletics within Division I of the National Collegiate Athletics Association. This study focused on several AD characteristics to include educational attainment levels, degree concentrations, racial and gender demographics, and the career focus each held. The research examined three variables; current position (a), previous position to becoming AD (b), and the position held before that (c). The research design involved a social network analysis of data collected from university websites and surveys returned by athletics directors. Data representing each ADs characteristics were then loaded into UCINET social network software. The software program produced socio grams from the data entered that consisted of various nodes to represent each athletics director, the relations between them, and the strength or weakness of those relations in regard to which attribute was under examination. The findings of the study were in agreement with previous research in which athletics directors were found to be well educated. When looking at the previous titles athletics directors held, the research found the previous trend of assistant athletics director and associate athletics director being the two most prominent titles before becoming an AD had been replaced by the positions of associate athletics director and senior associate athletics director. The areas of degree concentration for AD’s had also shifted somewhat since earlier literature on the subject. Many modern day athletics directors had more of a business focus. The study also looked at the various areas within and outside of the traditional athletics career paths and found that those too had changed as the profession progressed.