Head up the athletic program of a school.
What does an Athletic Director do?
Back in the day, the position of athletic director was more of a title–typically a part-time job given to a school’s head football coach. Now this job has evolved. Athletic directors have been given bigger and more specific job responsibilities. They oversee everything that has to do with a school’s athletics–from keeping an eye on the grades of student athletes to raising money to cover all athletic expenses.
As an athletic director you can work in a many types of schools. Large universities as well as small high schools all hire for this position, and your responsibilities are pretty much the same wherever you work. Different jobs, however, come with varying levels of difficulty. For example, you probably won’t be giving press conferences about steroid use if you work for a high school instead of a large university. In fact, you probably won’t be giving press conferences, period.
In this position you hire and fire coaches and their support staff (e.g. people like assistant coaches or equipment managers). You also prepare the budget for each sport, keeping in mind the need for new equipment, scholarship grants, or travel expenses for away games. Throughout the year and the different seasons, you take care that expenses don’t exceed the allotted budget. And in the case of some sports, like football at major universities, you ensure that you make money with each game.
You serve as the face of the school’s athletics, and work to keep your school out of trouble. To do this you monitor things like the academic eligibility of players, the recruiting practices of coaches, and how many sports teams are available for women.