Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Recreation and Sport Management (EdD)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Steve W. Dittmore

Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Second Committee Member

Mary Ramey

Third Committee Member

Sarah Stokowski


Social sciences, Athletic director


There is increased information about the profile of current collegiate athletic directors as it relates to education, age, race, and gender. However, there is a gap in the knowledge of the career paths of the modern day Division I collegiate athletic director position compared to the athletic directors studied over 20 years ago. There is also a gap in the knowledge of the skills necessary to be an effective athletic director from the perspective of Division I athletic directors. The purpose of this study was to use the Perceptions of Division I Athletic Director Career Paths (PADCP) scale to determine their career paths. The goal was to not only understand the career paths of today’s athletic directors but to compare the experiences with those from the 1994 foundational study conducted by Fitzgerald et al. (1994). This research is beneficial to aspiring and entry-level collegiate athletics administrators because the landscape of college athletics has changed significantly over the past 20 years. It is important for them to know the common experiences and required skill sets in order to navigate their path to the top.