Athletic Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Athletic Director, or Sports Director, is responsible for the general operations of athletic programs and sports teams, including coordinating with other sports programs and athletic leagues. Their duties include preparing departmental budgets, hiring and training coaches and creating schedules for training and sports matches.

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Athletic Director Duties and Responsibilities

Outline the important duties and functions of the Athletic Director’s position in your organization. Include the daily activities and any special responsibilities associated with the position. Be clear as to how the job of Athletic Director functions within your company and who the position reports to.

Examples of Athletic Director duties and responsibilities include:

  • Prepare budgets for athletic programs and allocate athletic funds.
  • Provide leadership and guidance for sports activities and programs.
  • Supervise purchase and maintenance of athletic equipment and facilities.
  • Ensure compliance with government rules and league policies.
  • Act as a liaison with selectors, leagues and government agencies.
  • Coordinate with Coaches on team travel, game scheduling and practice sessions.
  • Prepare and present reports on team performance and needs for improvement.
  • Mediate any disputes arising between Coaches and Athletes.
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Athletic Director Job Description Examples

What Does an Athletic Director Do?

Athletic Directors work at recreational facilities, schools, colleges and other private organizations to create and administer a physical education and sports program. Athletic Directors supervise employees in their organization’s athletic department, often recruiting coaches to lead classes on a particular sport. A key part of their job is to lead fundraising efforts by planning fundraising events, coordinating promotional materials and collaborating with alumni or family-run booster clubs. They can resolve conflicts between players on a team, attend games and championships and monitor teams to ensure they meet the requirements of athletic leagues and associations.

Athletic Director Skills and Qualifications

This section should outline the educational qualifications and skills required for the position of Athletic Director in your organization. List the technical and non-technical skills a candidate should have in order to successfully perform this role. Include any specific personality traits you are looking for.

Examples of Athletic Director skills and qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in physical education, sports management or a related area (Master’s degree preferred)
  • Over five years of experience in teaching or coaching
  • A minimum of two years of experience in athletic administration
  • Ability to develop and implement athletic programs
  • Effective leadership, communication and team management skills
  • Excellent knowledge of athletic laws and regulations
  • Strong negotiation and public relationship skills
  • Good physical health and willingness to travel

Athletic Director Salary Expectations

An Athletic Director receives an average salary of $57,929 per year. This estimate is based on the salary data submitted by users working as Athletic Director and the salary figures collected from job advertisements on Indeed published for this position in the last three years. An Athletic Director usually works for a tenure of two years on an average. Salary may vary depending on an Athletic Director’s level of education, experience, employing organization and geographical location.

Athletic Director Education and Training Requirements

High schools and middle schools usually look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in education or physical education, but colleges may prefer a master’s degree in sports management or a related area. Since Athletic Director is a senior-level position, a certification in administration, public relations, financial planning or strategic decision making would be definitely helpful. Your organization may also want the successful candidate to have some physical training in the sports they will be managing.

Athletic Director Experience Requirements

Middle schools may have a part-time position for Athletic Director where candidates continue to serve in their position as a coach or teacher. Normally, two to three years of coaching experience is sufficient for such part-time positions. This experience is also appropriate for a dedicated full-time position at the high school level. However, for an Athletic Director position in universities and colleges, candidates should have at least three to four years of experience in athletic administration, sports management or a closely related field. They should have proven experience in leadership and team handling, typically as a Coach.

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Frequently asked questions about Athletic Directors


What is the difference between an Athletic Director and a Coach?

Athletic Directors are in charge of the overall administration of an entire physical education department while Coaches oversee the participants who are part of a particular sports team. At schools, Coaches can have multiple roles, serving as both an Academic Teacher and an Athletic Coach while Athletic Directors are dedicated full-time to managing the athletic department. Coaches have inside knowledge of strategies and training techniques for playing a particular sport while Athletic Directors focus on coordinating games with other schools, creating fair rules and procedures and delegating the department’s resources.


What are the characteristics of a good Athletic Director?

A good Athletic Director should have a strong interest in sports and a basic knowledge of how sports teams operate so that they can hire the appropriate personnel and successfully evaluate their impact on the team. Successful Athletic Directors have a managerial mindset that allows them to develop workflows and team hierarchies that work for coaches and players. They enjoy being in a leadership position and are highly communicative, ensuring that there are clear processes for sharing information with students, parents, teachers and community members.


Who reports to an Athletic Director?

Coaches report directly to Athletic Directors to keep them informed of team performance, equipment needs and scheduling issues. Athletic Directors can oversee many different types of coaches who teach sports teams at various levels of ability. Some Athletic Directors supervise competitive teams, such as a varsity swim team, requiring them to be very hands-on with coaches as they host tryouts and recruit players. Others manage recreational teams that exist mainly for social enrichment, allowing them to give Coaches more freedom. In addition to supervising coaches, Athletic Directors can be the direct superior of administrators and bookkeepers.


What are the daily responsibilities of an Athletic Director?

A typical day for an Athletic Director can include watching teams practice, meeting with Coaches, ordering equipment, creating schedules and distributing information about the athletic department to other members of their organization. Athletic Directors can work in the office at a school and travel to conferences and championship games.

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