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.
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