NCAA Division I, II and III Athletic Director Research 

PRESS RELEASE 

September 24, 2019

Contacts: 
Chanel Barnes
Women Leaders in College Sports
chanel@womenleadersincollegesports.org
816-389-8208

Karen Sung 
Arizona State University 
karen.sung@asu.edu
480-727-9052

Kansas City, Mo. – Women Leaders in College Sports, the nation’s premier women’s athletic leadership association, in collaboration with Glenn Wong, executive director and distinguished professor, and Stephanie Jarvis, from the Allan “Bud” Selig Master of Sports Law and Business program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, is excited to share research updates on the career trajectory of NCAA Division I, II, and III athletic directors.

ASU Law and Women Leaders partnered in 2017 to better understand the hiring trends, career paths, education, and experience both men and women athletic directors have before they landed athletic director jobs at Division I, II and Division III institutions. This research update – which was completed in 2019 – continues looking into trends across all three divisions. Women Leaders in College Sports will continue to use this valuable information to supplement its existing professional development curriculum, and Women Leaders members will be able to make more informed career-promoting and advancing decisions.

Kansas City, Mo. – Women Leaders in College Sports, the nation’s premier women’s athletic leadership association, in collaboration with executive director and distinguished professor Glenn Wong, and Stephanie Jarvis, from the Allan “Bud” Selig Master of Sports Law and Business program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, is excited to share research updates on the career trajectory of NCAA Division I, II, and III athletic directors.

ASU Law and Women Leaders partnered in 2017 to better understand both the hiring trends, and the career paths, education, and experience both men and women administrators have before they landathletic director jobs at Division I, II and III institutions. This research update – which was completed in 2019 – continues looking into trends across all three divisions. Women Leaders in College Sports will continue to use this valuable information to supplement its existing professional development curriculum, and Women Leaders members will be able to make more informed career-promoting and advancing decisions.

“The Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law & Business Program at the Arizona State University College of Law is honored and privileged to have the opportunity to share its research with Women Leaders in College Sports” Glenn Wong says. “The information generated by this research provides important benchmarks and the ability to make informed decisions on career paths for Division I, II and III Athletic Directors.”

"As an organization dedicated to advancing women at all levels, the research from Glenn Wong and his team at ASU is extremely important to the education and development of our members." says Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports. “This research continues to support our mission to diversify the pool of collegiate athletic directors and help us prepare women for the athletic director chair. We are thrilled to continue this partnership and utilize ASU’s research to move the needle!”

The data was strictly compiled using public data and reflects only what was available on each institution’s website and other online resources. Glenn and his team went through hundreds of websites to collect information on all Division I, II, and III athletic directors. The data gathering process was completed on April 30, 2019 and was reflective of all athletic directors to that date. Any athletic director changes after that date will be recorded in next year’s report. Glenn will give a summarized report at the 2019 Women Leaders National Convention in Phoenix, AZ in October of 2019.

Summary of Updated Hiring Trends for Athletic Directors:

Division I
Overall, women have made gains in Division I and now make up 13.6% of all athletic directors. 
From April 2018 to April 2019, 6 of the 51 new athletic director hires have been women (11.8%).
Majority of Division I athletic directors have experience primarily in fundraising and/or marketing

Division II
Overall, women make up 18.6% of athletic directors in Division II. 
From April 2018 to April 2019, 11 of the 44 new athletic director hires have been women (25%)
8 of the 44 new Division II athletic directors have come from directly from Division I school (18.2%). 23 have experience at a Division I school (52.3%)
Majority of Division ll athletic directors have experience primarily in fundraising and/or operations/facilities. 

Division III
Overall, women make up 32% of athletic directors in Division lll. 
From April 2018 to April 2019, 29 of the 73 new athletic director hires have been women (39.7%).
14 of the 73 new Division III athletic directors have come from directly from a Division I school (19.2%). 27 have experience at a Division I school (37.0%).
Majority of Division III athletic directors have experience primarily operations/facilities. 

About Women Leaders in College Sports

Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA; www.womenleadersincollgesports.org) is the only nationally recognized collegiate professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect, and advance women leaders working in intercollegiate athletics. More than 3,500 members strong, Women Leaders promotes the growth, leadership, and success of women as athletics administrators, conference commissioners, professional staff, coaches, and student-athletes.

About the Sports Law and Business program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

The Sports Law and Business program at the Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is the only graduate program in the country that strategically combines law, business, and athletics to teach and prepare the next generation of sports industry leaders. The program features an innovative curriculum, experiential learning and faculty experienced in both the classroom and within the industry.