Career and Educational Experiences of High School Athletic Directors: A Multi-level Perspective

Authors:
Brian Fowler – Sport Administration, University of Northern Colorado, CO, USA
Jimmy Smith, Ph. D – Sport & Physical Education, Gonzaga University, WA, USA
Jesse E. Croskrey – Sport & Physical Education, Gonzaga University, WA, USA

Corresponding Author:
Brian Fowler
1006 Lucca Dr.
Evans, CO 80620
brian.fowler@unco.edu
208-967-5793

Brian Fowler is a Ph. D student in Sports Administration at the University of Northern Colorado.
Jimmy Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sport and Physical Education at Gonzaga University.
Jesse E. Croskrey is graduate of the Masters in Sport and Athletic Administration program at Gonzaga University. 
Career and educational experiences of high school athletic directors: A multi-level perspective

ABSTRACT
High school athletic directors (AD) play a crucial role in the administration of high school sports. Over the past several decades, participation in high school athletics has increased, placing ADs with additional responsibilities. Many duties include student-athlete development, transportation, technology, legal issues, marketing, fund-raising, and more recently, concussions. As duties and responsibilities increase, high school principals find the hiring of ADs more challenging. The current research reviewed career and educational experiences of high school ADs; looking at what principals look for in their ADs and comparing their responses to ADs resumés. A total of 112 Washington State high school principals completed surveys and 37 ADs submitted resumés for comparison. Results showed that principals preferred ADs to have coursework background in law, ethics, budget, and finance. Principals rated experience as a head coach the highest among professional experiences and results showed a majority of ADs had such experience. Implications of results suggested that principals can make more sound decisions as they hired ADs. Individuals looking to become an AD can shape their career path to meet the expectations of principals.

Keywords: High school, Athletic director, Principals, Interscholastic sports

INTRODUCTION
Participation in high school athletics increased by more than 1.2 million student-athletes from 2001 to 2015, with 4.5 million boys and 3.2 million girls participating in 2015 (NFHS, 2015a). This increase in participation brings more responsibility to the individual in charge of running a high school athletic department, known as the athletic director (AD). Previous research of high school ADs studied the success rates of interscholastic ADs (Pedersen & Whisenant, 2005), specific accomplishments and experiences of ADs (Stier & Schneider, 2000), and important college courses for ADs (Schneider & Stier, 2001). According to the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrations Association (NIAAA), “Athletic Administrators consistently contribute the longest days among staff members in most American school districts” (NIAAA, 2016, n.p.).

Traditional duties of high school ADs include overall planning, conducting practice sessions, planning and preparing budgets, fundraising, and scheduling games (Green & Reese, 2006). Within the past decade, the duties of ADs have expanded to now include communication and accessibility, personnel management, student-athlete development, program management, transportation, technology, contest management, legal and safety concerns, marketing and fund-raising, purchasing, equipment, and facilities (Blackburn, Forsyth, Olson, & Whitehead, 2013). Blackburn et al. (2013) provides summation with the idea that the landscape of the high school AD profession has significantly changed over the past 30 years.

With these noted changes comes a paradigm shift of new topics and issues high school ADs must learn to manage. For instance, in the 2013-2014 school year, the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) Network debuted, which streamed over 28,000 events on the internet, covering 27 sports (NFHS, 2014). This new addition to high school sports was likely to bring more responsibilities to employees of athletic departments, especially the AD. Another recent topic of interest in high school athletics is concussions. Lawsuits and media coverage regarding concussions (e.g. Byars, 2017; Godlewski, 2015) have arguably started a snowball effect that has trickled down from professional sport to collegiate sport and now to the high school ranks. This attention has brought about research regarding concussions among high school student-athletes (Albrecht, Lindback, & Strand, 2013; Casa et al., 2013; Collins et al., 2014). The issues mentioned above serve as examples of the ever-changing environment that high school athletic departments face. As the figurehead of the athletic department, high school ADs must continue to manage current issues, as well as be prepared for future issues that may develop.

According to Schneider and Stier (2001), “every person who assumes the position of high school athletic director must be a competent, trained, and experienced administrator, one who is professional in every respect, if the sports program is to be truly successful” (p. 212). The important connection between high school principal and AD is also established, citing daily interaction and collaboration (Schneider & Stier, 2001). Therefore, a principals’ selection of a competent and qualified AD, and cultivating this relationship is crucial in the overall success of a high school athletic department (Schneider & Stier, 2001; Stier & Schneider, 2000). While ADs typically report to the principal, Blackburn et al. (2013) provided insight on the relationship between the principal and the AD:

  • The official representative of the school is the principal who is directly responsible for the student body and the conduct of the athletic program. In most school environments the principal delegates responsibility for administration of the athletic program to the athletic administrator, who becomes the school representative in matters dealing with the school athletic and activity association and conference, district, or league affiliations. (p. 16)

The works of Blackburn et al. (2013), Schneider & Stier (2001), and Stier and Schneider (2000) provided a solid foundation with respect to what high school principals expect of their ADs. The relevance of their research was evident in the fact that with more responsibilities given to ADs as high school athletics evolve, a greater need for confident, competent and well-trained ADs is necessary. With Schneider and Stier’s (2001) research being over a decade old, current research will fill the gap in the literature by providing information that is pertinent to recent issues within high school athletics. Current research would provide those who hire personnel (i.e. the principal) updated information to reflect and consider when hiring a new AD. High school ADs would also benefit from knowing what education, skills, and experiences are necessary and desired for their position. To accomplish this need, the research question for the current study becomes: Are current high school athletic directors’ experiences congruent with principals’ preferences?

Literature Review
Both college and high school athletic departments are traditionally led by an AD (Sport Management Degrees, 2016). Research regarding college AD’s roles and responsibilities is abundant (e.g. Cunningham & Ashley, 2001; Fitzgerald, Sagaria, & Nelson, 1994; Smith & Washington, 2014). Much of the research on high school ADs has centered on gender representation (e.g. Burton, Barr, Fink, & Bruening, 2009; Miller, Whisenant, & Pedersen, 2007; Pedersen & Whisenant, 2005; Whisenant, 2008) and stress and burnout (e.g. Judge & Judge, 2009; Martin & Kelly, 1999; Martin, Kelley, & Dias, 1999; Sullivan, Lonsdale, & Taylor, 2014). Research on gender and stress and burnout provides background information about high school ADs and includes some of their responsibilities as it relates to these topics. Two studies from the early 2000’s examined high school ADs through the lens of career experiences and education (Schneider & Stier, 2001; Stier & Schneider, 2000). These studies, which examined the education and career experiences high school principals look for when interviewing and hiring ADs, along with other relevant collegiate and interscholastic career path literature, provided the basis and framework for the current study.

College Athletic Administrators Career Paths
Research conducted by Fitzgerald et al. (1994) challenged the conventionally thought of career path method of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) ADs. Their purpose was to examine the five step career trajectory of becoming an NCAA AD to determine if it corresponded with how ADs were being hired. The researchers used the concept of patterns in developing their five step trajectory, based on common experiences of many ADs. The five step career trajectory consisted of being a college athlete, high school coach, college coach, and associate or assistant AD. Results showed that 11% of the 285 AD participants had an exact match of the five step trajectory. The most common event among the ADs was being a college athlete. Additional findings suggested that ADs from Division I schools were more likely than those from Divisions II and III to follow the five step career trajectory.

Aside from a specific trajectory for ADs, Cunningham and Ashley (2001) researched the most important daily activities of an athletic department as perceived by the AD at all three Divisions within the NCAA. The narrow focus allowed the researchers to view NCAA athletics with a clear analysis of the daily business operations of an athletic department and who carried out the day-to-day tasks. The researchers used competing theories of isomorphism to view the AD and to analyze the results. The three views of isomorphism included the ecological, institutional, and strategic choice perspectives. According to Cunningham and Ashley (2001), an ecological perspective refers to an external process of selectivity, institutional perspective comes through social expectancies, and strategic choice perspective comes from the decision makers within an organization. A questionnaire was sent to NCAA athletic administrators from all three Divisions. The athletic administrators were asked to specify the importance of certain daily activities, the time spent on each activity by the AD, and time spent by other members of the athletic department staff. Daily activities included fundraising, budgeting, scheduling, planning, and promotions. The results indicated a stronger support for the strategic choice perspective of isomorphism over the other two perspectives. This study reported similar findings to a study of Canadian athletic departments, which was important as it provided support for previous research.

Another study of college ADs using the theoretical perspective of isomorphism examined the curriculum vitaes (CV) of NCAA ADs to determine if there was a difference of career paths among ADs based on various factors, such as university size, NCAA Division I or Divisions II and III, and public or private universities (Smith & Washington, 2014). In addition to isomorphism, the researchers used human capital theory, which refers to the idea that individuals with greater experience, education, and training may have better career outcomes than those who have less experience, education, and training. A content analysis of CV’s was used to find common career experiences among the ADs. Five common career experiences were determined by the analysis. These included athletic administration, coaching experience, business experience, teaching, and other experiences. Key findings showed that ADs from NCAA Division I universities had greater work experience than those of non-Division I schools. Additionally, ADs from Division I universities had less teaching and coaching experience than those from Division II and III schools. This had implications for those looking to become NCAA Division I ADs, as they may want to pursue more business experience rather than coaching experience.

Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Career Paths
While high school athletic departments are not perceived as high status or as difficult to run as collegiate athletic departments, the topic of stress and burnout garnered the attention of researchers (Martin & Kelley, 1999; Martin, et al., 1999). Sullivan et al. (2014) researched burnout among high school ADs by reviewing autonomy given to and the control exercised over them by his or her superior. They also discussed the importance of the role the high school principal plays in stress and burnout of ADs. Principals have a great impact on motivation of staff and play a prominent role in preventing burnout. Results from this study showed, “athletic directors’ supervisors are potential social influences on motivational processes and eventual burnout” (Sullivan et al., 2014, p. 266). Knowing what a principal expects of his or her AD, including the competencies of the job, could help ADs with stress and decrease burnout and potentially increase job satisfaction and enhance relations with their supervisors.

Job satisfaction was defined as “how one feels about the job” (Green & Reese, 2006, p. 318). Green and Reese (2006) researched overall job satisfaction among high school athletic administrators. One source of dissatisfaction among high school athletic administrators was the responsibility of dual roles, such as coaching and teaching (Green & Reese, 2006). Role conflict was addressed as competing interests between the teacher/educator and athletic administrator clash. High school athletic administrator’s duties continued to increase and their role was becoming more important than ever. As Green and Reese (2006) suggested, the critical competencies of administrators can include planning, conducting practice sessions, motivating athletes, planning and preparing budgets, fundraising, scheduling games, and interacting with parents. Diminishing the dual role mentality may allow high school athletic administrators to focus more on their specific duties, perform at a higher level within these duties, and be more satisfied at their place of employment. The principal, as the ADs supervisor, can play a vital role in diminishing the dual roles issue (Green & Reese, 2006).

Job descriptions provide guidance in regard to work experience and educational history necessary for a job. Miller et al. (2007) analyzed 301 job announcements of high school ADs in the state of Texas. Important findings were that 73% of postings required the applicant to coach a boys sport. While the purpose of this article was to examine gender barriers among high school ADs, this finding showed the importance of prior coaching experience on the likeliness of being hired. The importance of coaching experience for ADs, in both college and high school, was also confirmed by additional research (Fitzgerald, et al., 1994; Smith & Washington, 2014).

More than a decade has passed since research specific to high school ADs and their educational and career experiences was conducted. The work of Schneider and Stier (2001) was a national study of high school principals. They asked principals what educational experience is most important when hiring an AD. Schneider and Stier (2001) discussed the need for more qualified and competent individuals as high school ADs was becoming more prominent. Results showed the two main college courses principals deemed important for high school ADs were legal aspects in sport and budget/finance in sport. Similarly, Stier and Schneider (2000) examined specific accomplishments and experiences of high school ADs and how high school principals rated these by importance. At least 50 percent of principals in this national survey said that successfully working with others, both individually and in groups, successfully working with parents, and positive working relationships with parents were essential for high school ADs.

The research of Schneider and Stier provided a breadth of rich information about education and career experience for high school ADs. As more than a decade has passed since Stier and Schneider’s work, a more recent study is necessary to capture any change in respect to principal’s preferences of high school ADs.

METHODS
Studies by Schneider and Stier (2001) and Stier and Schneider (2000), as previously discussed, used surveys to collect data from high school principals regarding what principals look for in ADs. A questionnaire was also utilized by Fitzgerald et al. (1994) when they examined the career trajectories of college ADs. A more recent study used a content analysis to examine CVs of college ADs to look for career patterns (Smith & Washington, 2014). As each of these approaches provide their own unique set of data, the current study chose to utilize a combination of these methods when researching high school ADs.

Population
The sample population for the current research was obtained from a list of all Washington State high school principals and ADs. Their emails were compiled from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) website and high school websites. The WIAA is a private and nonprofit organization in the state of Washington that makes and enforces rules among high school sports teams (WIAA, 2016). The WIAA is a member of the NFHS, which is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The NFHS leads and develops the education of interscholastic sports and activities for its member organizations (NFHS, 2015b).

An email was sent to 366 high school principals in the state of Washington with a link to an online survey. Those who wished to participate did so by completing the questionnaire, which contained questions that were answered using a 7-point Likert scale. Those who declined to participate chose to not fill out the survey or clicked on a specific opt out button before starting the survey.

Another email was sent via an online survey platform to 388 ADs within Washington State requesting two separate items: submission of a resumé/CV and completion of a demographic survey. ADs could independently participate in each request, first by choosing whether to submit their resumé/CV, and second by choosing whether to complete the demographic survey.

Data collection
A mixed-methods approach was utilized for collecting data in the current study. First, quantitative data pertaining to expectations of high school principals regarding their ADs was collected via an online survey mentioned above. The survey in the current study was an updated version of the survey utilized by Schneider and Stier (2001) and Stier and Schneider (2000). Their survey was originally developed by consulting with experts that included college professors, successful high school ADs, and successful college ADs (Stier & Schneider, 2000), and the changes made to this survey for the current research were minor in nature and focused on updating wording. The second source of quantitative data collected was from high school ADs. This also came in survey form, and contained demographic questions pertaining to the high school ADs. This survey was also based upon the works of Schneider and Stier (2001) and Stier and Schneider (2000). Finally, qualitative data was also collected in the form of CVs that were requested from high school ADs. According to Smith and Washington (2014), a CV is a written communication of one’s life, and provides great knowledge about the qualifications and accomplishments of an AD.

Analysis
The primary objective of the current research was to compare data collected from high school principals to complimentary data collected from high school ADs. Because these data sets were in both quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (CVs) form, the first step of the data analysis was content analysis. According to Jones (2015), “content analysis refers to the to the analysis of the content of communications…especially for those looking more deeply into what can seem to be, at times, fairly ordinary messages” (p. 209). Furthermore, through the process of coding and interpreting material replicable and valid inferences can be made, which effectively allows content analysis to convert qualitative data into a quantitative form (Smith & Washington, 2014). In the process of performing content analysis, the current research used each question from the principal survey as variables to compare the content of each AD resumé. Each resumé was coded as a number of 1 or 0 for the corresponding questions. A score of 1 was given if the resumé contained the variable and 0 was given if the resumé did not contain the variable. Similar forms of bivariate coding were used in previous research analyzing job announcements of high school athletic directors (Miller et al., 2007) and college AD resumes (Smith & Washington, 2014).

Once content analysis was completed, the current research then implemented elements of triangulation. Patton (1980) described triangulation as a “combination of methodologies in the study of the same phenomena or programs” (p. 108). Therefore, triangulation can be used to compare data collected by quantitative methods to data collected by qualitative methods. As Patton (1980) states:

  • There is no magic in triangulation. The evaluator using different methods to investigate the same program should not expect that the findings generated by those different methods will automatically come together to produce some nicely integrated whole. Indeed the evidence is that one ought to expect initial conflicts in findings from qualitative and quantitative data. (p. 330)

The use of triangulation in the current research was intended to investigate congruency between the data collected from the quantitative principal data (questionnaire), and the qualitative AD data (resumé/CV). The comparison of multiple types of data was by design, and based on the statement of Patton (1980), that “consistency in overall patterns of data from different sources and reasonable explanations for differences in data from different sources contributes significantly to the overall creditably of the findings presented in the evaluation report” (p. 331). With this in mind, the mixed-methods approach of the current research was implemented with the purpose of strengthening the overall findings of the study.

RESULTS
Results of the data analysis in the current research can be broken down into three categories. The first category is the responses of principals to the questionnaire regarding their expectations of ADs. The second is the content of AD resumés/CVs including their qualifications and experiences. Finally, the third is the responses of ADs to the demographics questionnaire.

Principal questionnaire
A total of 112 principals completed the questionnaire, which garnered a response rate of 30.6%. Of the 112 principals, 77.7% (n=87) were male, 20.5% (n=23) were female, and 1.8% (n=2) preferred not to answer. The majority of principals, 86.6% (n=97) were White/Caucasian, while 2.7% (n=3) were American Indian or Alaskan Native, 2.7% (n=3) were Asian or Pacific Islander, 2.7% (n=3) were Hispanic or Latino, 0.9% were Armenian American, and 5.4% (n=6) preferred not to answer.

Table 1 shows the results of how principals viewed professional experiences of their ADs. Three professional experience items were deemed by at least 60% of the principals as extremely important or very important. Head coach at the high school level was 80.1% (n=89), working with an athletics department policy handbook was 74.5% (n=82), and certified teacher at the high school level was 60.4% (n=67). The three items that were selected as low importance or not at all important by principals were certified physical education teacher at the high school level at 46.8% (n=52), athlete at the varsity level in college at 43.65% (n=48) and assistant AD at the high school level at 33.6% (n=37). The weighted score was the average of all the scores for the individual item as rated by the principals on a scale of 1 to 7, 1 being ‘Not at all important’ and 7 being ‘Extremely important’.

Table 1

Table 2 shows the results of the accomplishments section of the principal survey. All but two of the accomplishment items were selected by the principals as either extremely important or very important by more than 55%. The two items that received less than 55% were successful promotions and fundraising activities at 46.4% (n=52) and possessing a winning record as a coach at 6.3% (n=7). The three highest rated items in terms of importance were successfully working with others, individually and in groups at 98.2% (n=110), successfully working with parents at 98.2% (n=109), and record of successfully preventing and solving problems at 94.6% (n=106).

Table 2

Table 3 shows the results of the college courses section of the principal survey. Four of the courses were selected by principals as extremely important or very important at least 60%. These courses were management and leadership in sport at 65.2% (n=73), ethics in sport management at 68.8% (n=77), budget and finance in sport at 66.7% (n=74), and legal aspects of sport at 70.0% (n=77). Internship in different sport organization settings at 21.4% (n=24) and research in sport at 10.7% (n=12) were selected the least by principals as either extremely important or very important.

Table 3

Athletic director resumés
Overall, 67.6% (n=25) reported having experience as a head coach at the high school level. Not a single resumé specifically mentioned experience in working with an athletics department policy handbook. Only 16.2% (n=6) mentioned working with parents and the same number indicated working with teachers. A total of 21.6% (n=8) showed successful promotions and fundraising activities while 16.2% (n=6) reported success working with booster clubs or athletic support groups. Lastly, 40.5% (n=15) reported having budgeting duties or knowledge of budgeting. Table 4 shows the results of whether a specific item was mentioned on a resumé.

Table 4

Athletic director demographics
In conjunction with ADs submitting resumés, they were asked to fill out an electronic demographic survey. A total of 70 ADs completed this questionnaire. Results showed that 95.7% (n=67) reported earning at least a bachelor’s degree, 1.4% (n=1) earned an associate’s degree, while 2.9% (n=2) preferred not to answer. This questionnaire also indicated that 94.3% (n=66) of ADs were male and 5.7% (n=4) were female. ADs were asked their ethnicity and 94.2% (n=65) were White/Caucasian, 1.5% (n=1) were Asian or Pacific Islander, 1.5% (n=1) were Black or African American, and 2.9% (2) preferred not to answer. More than 65% of respondents indicated they had been an AD for 1-8 years. Table 5 shows the results of time (in years) spent as an AD.

Table 5

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
As the research from Schneider & Stier (2001) and Stier and Schneider (2000), the current study provided up-to-date principal preferences of the high school AD position; albeit the current research covered only one state. There were many similarities between the principal questionnaire of the present study and the results of Schneider & Stier (2001) and Stier and Schneider (2000). The item ‘successfully working with others, individually and in groups’ coincides with the Steir and Schneider (2000) findings. Similar findings in both studies was ‘possessing a winning record as a coach’, which showed was not very important to principals. Within the coursework items, principals in both studies rated ‘legal aspects of sport’ and ‘budget and finance in sport’ highly. Interestingly, the ‘research in sport’ course was the lowest ranked item from both studies.

While many items showed similarities between the current study and the previous studies, some items had differences that are noteworthy. The item, ‘success in working with booster clubs and athletic support groups’ was rated almost twice as important in the current study as was in Steir and Schneider (2000). Along the same lines, the item ‘successful promotions and fundraising activities’ ranked half as important in the Steir and Schneider (2000) study compared to the present study. Further research could be done to determine the importance of promotions, fundraising, and booster clubs as it relates to high school athletic directors and why these items increased in importance. Another item from the Steir and Schneider (2000) study that was different from the current study was the ‘experience as a certified teacher at the high school level’ item. This was rated as not as important now as it was 17 years ago. Additionally, the item ‘experience as a head coach at the high school level’ was rated by principals more than twice as important now than in the Steir and Schneider (2000) study. This shift in desiring an individual who is a certified teacher to someone who has experience as a head coach is noteworthy and specific interview questions targeted to principals could uncover the reason for this change.

The main purpose of the present study was to determine if high school principal’s preferences of their ADs, in terms of education and career experiences, matched the resumés of current ADs. The researchers added the content analysis component of the high school AD resumés to achieve this purpose. Table 4 showed the results of the content analysis and Table 6 shows the results of the content analysis compared to principals expectations. The researchers found some of the comparison results noteworthy. First, there was the discrepancy in how important principals rated budgeting and finance in sport and the lack of budgeting being mentioned in the resumés. This finding is important for ADs preparing to apply for jobs, as including budgeting experience on a resumé is a way to show the principal they are qualified and competent in budgeting principles. Another finding that stood out to researchers was the lack of resumés that showed how ADs successfully worked with various groups. Very few of the resumés ever mentioned working with parents, working with teachers, and working with community members and groups. Principals ranked each of these items at least 90% extremely important or very important. The item working with an athletics department policy handbook was rated highly important by principals, yet did not show up on the AD resumes. This omission by ADs could be corrected by mentioning previous experience in a policy handbook somewhere on the resumé. Finally, less than a quarter of ADs mentioned promotions and fundraising or working with booster clubs, which was rated higher in the current study than in the Steir and Schneider (2000) study.

Table 6

Results from the demographic questions are important to discuss in the present study. ADs and principals alike showed that males dominate these professions in the State of Washington. Of the 70 ADs that completed the demographic survey, 94.3% were male and of the 112 principals, 77.7% were male. In addition, the ethnicity question showed that 94.2% (n=65) of ADs were White/Caucasian and 86.6% (n=97) of principals were White/Caucasian. These numbers suggest that both ADs and principals are typically white males. The finding that males dominate the AD position aligns with results of a previous national study (Whisenant, 2003). Another national study that researched male hegemony among both high school ADs and principals showed similar findings to the present research (Whisenant, 2008).

Upon review of the present study, limitations certainly existed. The researchers found that the resumés provided by the ADs may not have been the most recent resumé, which could have left out additional information regarding previous career and educational experiences. The researchers did not have a database of contact information for principals and ADs. Contact information was collected manually and some of the schools in the state could have been overlooked, or some of the contacts that were found online may have been inaccurate. If the researchers were able to get this information from an organization, such as the WIAA, this could have ensured that a more thorough and complete list was obtained. Additionally, as the current study only researched Washington State ADs, the results may not accurately represent the United States as a whole. Another limitation of the present study was the number of ADs that submitted resumés was less than the number of ADs that filled out the demographic survey. ADs were asked to submit a resumé and fill out the demographic questionnaire, but had the ability to not submit the resumé, but still fill out the survey.

The present study was by no means all-inclusive or exhaustive of the topic of ADs career and educational experiences in the United States. However, for Washington State, and even the Pacific Northwest, the current study provided a quality response. In depth interviews of high school principals could be conducted in the future to gain a better understanding of what they look for in ADs. With interviews, researchers could probe and get rich data that cannot be obtained with quantitative data. Additionally, interviewing ADs, in person, or by phone, would allow future researchers to ask about experiences that are not on the resumé instead of assuming the AD does not have this experience.

Applications in Sport
According to Schneider and Stier (2001), “Athletic directors and would-be athletic directors need to be at the cutting edge of their discipline” (p. 216). This up-to-date research provides beneficial information for individuals looking to become ADs. The data showed specifics about what principals’ think is important and can be a framework on how to design a resumé around these items and to prepare for interviews. With this research, principals can see what their peers are saying is important for the AD role and ensure their hiring practices are in line with those in the field.

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