The university Athletic Director (AD) is the lead administrator in the athletic department and supervises an administrative, coaching and support staff that varies significantly depending on the institutions athletic budget. This position provides leadership in all facets of running the daily operations of a competitive athletic program. The athletic director is responsible for the schools compliance with NCAA governing regulations, along with following conference and institutional rules and regulations. The athletic director at most universities reports directly to the school president for direction and supervision, while at smaller institutions the AD may report to the dean in charge of student development who would oversee athletics. The athletic director creates and allocates the budget, supervises all sports, works on building and renovation issues related to athletics and is ultimately responsible for all issues relating to athletics at the college or university.
Qualifications. Most athletic directors at the university level have earned a master’s degree, often in business management, and are encouraged to earn their doctoral degree. The progression to school athletic director requires that they begin their career in athletic administration and earn their way through working in a variety of areas in the profession.
Salary Ranges. The low end starts at $50,000, while the average for smaller colleges and junior colleges is $75,000, and climbs all the way to the $400,000+ range for prominent NCAA Division 1 programs. In fact, the top level Division 1 ADs have numerous perks and benefits built into their package similar to head coaches for football and basketball, hence the salary is often augmented by outside sources.
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