Win AD, a searchable online database, contains compensation data and contracts for 11,000 D-I & D-II senior administrators. We searched for common themes in the backgrounds of successful NCAA Athletic Directors. Here’s what we found:
- The average age of current AD’s is 54, and they’ve been an Athletic Director at their current institution for 7.5 years. Most of them were at their previous position for the same average of 7.5 years.
- All of them have Bachelor’s degrees in everything ranging from business to history to psychology. Business or marketing degrees make up about 40% of the field, while liberal arts degrees and social science degrees make up the bulk of the rest. There are some with natural science degrees but not many.
- About two-thirds of them have Master’s degrees, overwhelmingly in either Business Administration, Athletic Administration, or Educational Administration.
- Approximately 15% have PhD’s in Higher Education Administration or Leadership or a JD.
- Over a third of them have very close ties with their alma maters, either currently working there as Athletic Director or having worked there just previous to their current position.
- The vast majority was previously employed by other colleges and universities, but some were working in the private sector as CEO’s or lawyers prior to becoming an Athletic Director.