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What Are the Different Types of Sports Director Jobs?

By Erik J.J. Goserud
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are a number of variations of sports director jobs. Many sports director duties fall under a few basic principles: to promote successful athletics, organize sports events and practices, and manage teams. At high schools or universities, sports directors are commonly known as athletic directors. In other institutions, such as recreation centers and community programs, sports directors are referred to as sports coordinators.

Sports director jobs require a great deal of organization, and candidates are typically graduates in areas of education in health, fitness, or business management. Many athletic directors begin their careers as coaches or athletic trainers. Qualifications include strong leadership, management, and oral communication skills. Sports director jobs enforce these core values in their programs or organizations.

Higher-level sports director jobs at secondary institutions typically require a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a coach. Regardless of prior qualifications, sports director jobs work an average of 40 hours per week. When working for a high school or university, sports directors often appear at matches and games in the after hours of an education day.

Athletic director is a primary title for sports director jobs at high schools and universities. Also known as ADs by abbreviation, the term athletic director mainly refers to the individual or individuals in charge of multiple sports departments. On average, high schools have one athletic director in charge of scheduling all sports. Sometimes, one athletic director will handle boys’ sports and another will handle girls’ sports.

Basic duties of the athletic director include scheduling gym time for team practices, hiring sports officials, and game management. They also promote events, ensure rules compliance, and communicate with coaches. Conference meetings and budget management for sports teams are also vital to the role.

At the higher university levels, athletic directors have great responsibility as the teams travel farther distances to compete and require a larger budget. It is often the athletic director’s responsibility to schedule transportation. They may also have a role in the recruiting process.

At larger universities or high schools, multiple athletic directors or sports directors may direct activities. Assistant sports directors are hired when the workload is too much for one person. Assistant sports directors are assigned to specific sports or duties. Sometimes, a sports director job requires a secondary job, such as assistant principle or an administrative role. Athletic directors also make sure their student athletes are doing well in the classroom as well as in their respective sports.

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