Universities with an Outstanding Sports Management & Athletic Administration Faculty

Those passionate about sports and who would like to help teams and athletes accomplish their goals might consider a career in sports management. Sports management and athletic administration professionals work behind-the-scenes and handle the administrative aspects of sports, indirectly assisting athletes with their on-field performance. A master’s degree in sports management and athletic administration can help kickstart a career in this exciting field.

Many universities offer online programs for sports management and athletic administration. These programs cover the various fundamentals of a sports management career. The curriculum incorporates courses on finance for sports organizations, athletic training and development, sports marketing, risks and legal issues associated with sports, and the psychology of high-performing athletes. Upon completion of the program, students can pursue additional certifications, including the Professional Associations of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS) credential.

The following guide covers exceptional sports management and athletic administration professors. These professors have extensive real-world experience, expertise in athletic administration, and have been widely cited and published.

There were four schools in particular which boast outstanding faculties in this discipline, including Indiana University at Bloomington, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, and West Virginia University.

Indiana University, Bloomington

Indiana University, Bloomington is the flagship of the seven IU campuses, founded 200 years ago upon the ideals of innovation, creativity, and academic freedom. The School of Public Health addresses disease prevention by leading wellness efforts through sports, tourism, leisure activities, and nutrition initiatives. Pushing the boundaries of traditional views on institutions of public health, IU Bloomington uses a multidisciplinary approach to bring about positive change. Incorporating expertise in diverse subfields such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and environmental health, the School is committed to finding solutions to 21st century health challenges in innovative ways. Founded in 1985, the graduate sport management program provides a strong foundation in sport entrepreneurship that affords students the opportunity to explore a variety of avenues within the discipline.

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    Kevin K. Byon, PhD

    Indiana University, Bloomington

    Dr. Kevin K. Byon is the coordinator and an associate professor for the sports management master’s program at Indiana University, Bloomington. Some of his classes include strategic management in the sports industry and research methods and data analysis in sports management. Before joining Indiana University, he taught at the University of Georgia, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Shanghai University of Sports, among others.

    Dr. Byon’s research focuses on consumer behavior in sports and the development of statistical and research methods used by sports management researchers. He is a member of the Sports Marketing Association and the North American Society for Sports Management. In addition to publishing extensively in peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Byon also serves as the editor of Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science and is an editorial board member of the Korean Society for the Security Convergence Management and Sports Business Review.

    Dr. Byon completed his doctorate in health and human performance (sports management) from the University of Florida, a master’s in sports management from Slippery Rock University, and a bachelor’s in Japanese language and literature from Hannam University.

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    Paul M. Pedersen, PhD

    Indiana University, Bloomington

    Dr. Paul M. Pedersen serves as the director of sports management at Indiana University Bloomington, where he teaches classes on issues in sports communication, an introduction to sports communication, research in sports communication, and understanding sports media. Before joining Indiana University, he taught at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Florida State University, and Bowling Green State University.

    Dr. Pedersen’s research centers on sports management and sports communication. His work has been published in the Global Sports Business Journal, the Journal of Sports Media, and Choregia: Sports Management International Journal. He is also the founding editor of the International Journal of Sports Communication (IJSC) and an editorial board member for ten national and international sports journals.

    Dr. Pedersen earned his doctorate in physical education (sports management) from Florida State University, his master’s in business communication and public relations from Emerson College, and his bachelor’s in business administration from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

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    Gary A. Sailes, PhD

    Indiana University, Bloomington

    Dr. Gary Sailes is an award-winning associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University. He teaches courses on commercial sports, the role of sports in society, sports and American society, and race and ethnicity in sports. Before he joined the faculty at Indiana University, he taught at the University of Delaware, the University of Buffalo, Chicago State University, and Mankato State University.

    Dr. Sailes is well-known for his research on collegiate sports access and critical race theory. He serves as the editor of the Journal of African American Men and sits on the editorial board of the Sport Sociology Journal. He also has published articles in various influential journals such as the Journal of African American Men, the International Journal of Sports Communication, and Race, Ethnicity, and Education. He has received various awards such as the Tefaching Excellence Recognition Award, a NASSS Distinguished Service Award, and an Outstanding Young American Award.

    Dr. Sailes earned his doctorate in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, his master’s in kinesiology from Mankato State University, and his bachelor’s in sociology from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

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    Antonio S. Williams, PhD

    Indiana University, Bloomington

    Dr. Antonio S. Williams serves as an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health, where he teaches courses on sports management, sports marketing and sponsorship, fitness marketing and management, and sports brand and product management. He joined the University of Miami faculty more than ten years ago and previously worked at the University of Houston.

    Dr. Williams’s research centers around brand management in sports, public health, and fitness. He is a member of several professional organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the North American Society for Sports Management. Additionally, he has published his research in prominent journals such as the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sports, the Global Sports Business Journal, and the Journal of Contemporary Athletics. Notably, he has received many awards such as the Victor E. Kerr Academic Excellence and Character Award and the American Council on Exercise Distinguished Service Award.

    Dr. Williams completed his doctorate in human performance and sports and fitness marketing and his master’s in athletic administration and marketing from Indiana University. He also holds a bachelor’s in kinesiology and sports communication from South Carolina State University.

University of Florida

Rated number 20 on the list of best value colleges by Forbes, the University of Florida engages students of diverse backgrounds in its three-fold mission of service, research, and teaching. Home to the Florida Gators, 21 varsity teams represent UF in the Southeastern Conference. The College of Health and Human Performance is dedicated to the promotion of health and prevention of disease by means of research and active living. The master of science in sport management program objectives are aligned with those of the college, targeting problems plaguing our society today and building character in its graduates. The perspective of the program and its reach begins at home in Florida and expands outward to the nation and the world beyond.

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    Kyriaki Kaplanidou, PhD

    University of Florida

    Dr. Kyriaki Kaplanidou is an associate professor at the University of Florida, where she teaches sports management and tourism courses such as sports marketing, management and leadership in sports, sports consumer behavior, and marketing in hospitality and tourism. Before joining the University of Florida, she taught at the University of Windsor.

    Dr. Kaplanidou’s research efforts center on the legacies of sports events on community development, sports consumer perceptions about event experiences, and sports event tourism. She is a member of several organizations such as the European Association for Sports Management and the North American Society of Sports Management. Also, she has published her research in high-impact journals, including the Sports Management Review, the Journal of Sports Management, and the International Journal of Event and Festival Management. Dr. Kaplanidou serves as an editorial board member of various journals such as the Journal of Sports Management and the Sports Management Review. She has received countless honors for her work, which include the International Educator of the Year Award, Researcher of the Year, and the Gainesville Sports Commission President Award.

    Dr. Kaplanidou completed her doctorate in park, recreation, and tourism resources at Michigan State University; her master’s in recreation management at Loughborough University in England; and her bachelor’s in physical education and sports science at Aristotle University in Greece.

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    Yong Jae Ko, PhD

    University of Florida

    Dr. Yong Jae Ko is a professor of sports management, tourism, and recreation at the University of Florida. He also coordinates the sports management program and teaches classes on strategic sports marketing, research in sports management, research methods, and sports marketing. Before joining the University of Florida, he taught at Washington State University and the University of Texas.

    Dr. Ko’s research efforts focus on the socio-psychological variables that influence sports consumption behavior, sponsorship and sports branding, and service marketing research. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Korean-American Association for Sports Management and the Sports Marketing Association. He has published his research in prominent journals such as Communication & Sports, the Journal of Sports Management, and the Journal of Global Sports Management. Also, he has received many awards, including the International Educator of the Year Award and Best Paper Award in the sports marketing track.

    Dr. Ko earned his doctorate sports management and master’s in physical education from Ohio State University, as well as a bachelor’s in physical education from Seoul National University.

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    Michael Sagas, EdD

    University of Florida

    Dr. Michael Sagas chairs the Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Sports Management at the University of Florida. He teaches sports management subjects that include athlete development, the introduction to sports management, sports sociology, and sports and society. Before he started teaching at the University of Florida, he worked at Texas A&M University.

    Dr. Sagas’s research focuses on youth sports, discrimination and diversity in sports, and intercollegiate athletics. He is also a member of several professional organizations, such as the North American Society for the Sociology of Sports and North American Society for Sports Management. His research has been published in prominent journals such as the Journal of Sports and Social Issues, the Journal of Career Development, and the Journal of Sports Management. He has received many awards, including the Outstanding New Faculty Award and Student Research Award.

    Dr. Sagas completed his doctorate of education in sports management and his master’s in sports management at Texas A&M University. He also has a bachelor’s in exercise and sports science from the University of Utah.

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    Svetlana Stepchenkova, PhD

    University of Florida

    Dr. Svetlana Stepchenkova is an associate professor at the University of Florida, where she teaches sports management and tourism courses such as hospitality management, research methods, and evaluation procedures.

    Her research examines branding, destination marketing, and positive image building, and she has been published in many top peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, the International Journal of Tourism Cities, and the International Journal of Sports Communication. Dr. Stepchenkova also has won several awards such as the University of Florida Excellence Award for Assistant Professors and the UF Term Professorship Academic Achievement Award.

    She completed her doctorate and master’s in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University and her bachelor’s in applied mathematics from Moscow State University.

University of Miami

The University of Miami, founded in 1925 during the South Florida “land boom,” offers 180 majors through its 11 schools and colleges. UM’s School of Education and Human Management (SEHM) has an outstanding sport administration degree. Focusing on well-being, the kinesiology and sport sciences department promotes physical wellness, fitness, and sport, while the SEHM’s two other departments promote emotional health and educational development. Geared towards multicultural communities, the School’s mission reflects a commitment to preparing community leaders and change agents. In addition to the phenomenal success of the revered football team, the Hurricanes, UM’s baseball team holds the longest postseason streak in NCAA history, qualifying for the NCAA tournament for 43 consecutive years. The women’s golf team also has an impressive record as the winner of five national championships.

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    Windy Dees, PhD

    University of Miami

    Dr. Windy Dees is a faculty member for the online master’s of sports administration program at the University of Miami. She teaches sports sponsorship, online principles of sports marketing, online sports sponsorship, and sports marketing. Before teaching at the University of Miami, she was a faculty member at Georgia Southern University, University of Florida, and Texas A&M University.

    Her research explores the effectiveness of corporate sponsorship and event marketing strategies. Dr. Dees has published her work in prominent journals such as the International Journal of Sports Management, the International Journal of Event Management Research, and the International Journal of Sports Management and Marketing. She is a member of the North American Society for Sports Management and Sports Marketing Association and has been named as one of the Top 10 Professors at UM. She is also a Graduate Research Competition Winner.

    Dr. Dees earned her doctorate in sports management with a minor in marketing from Texas A&M University, her master’s in sports management with a minor in marketing from the University of Florida, and her bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in communications from Rollins College.

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    Tywan G. Martin, PhD

    University of Miami

    Dr. Tywan G. Martin is a professor of kinesiology and sports sciences at the University of Miami. He teaches courses in sports information management, sports industry in South Florida, the introduction to sports management, and advanced sports information management.

    Dr. Martin’s research efforts center on the influence and impact of media messages on consumer behavior across various platforms. His work has been published in the International Journal of Sports Management, the Global Sports Business Journal, and the Journal of Multidisciplinary Research. He also has received several honors, such as the Outstanding Service Award, as well as the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Minority Achievement Award.

    Dr. Martin has a doctorate in sports marketing with a minor in telecommunication from Indiana University. His dissertation covered mixed martial arts (MMA) and the media. He also has a master’s sports management with a minor in sports marketing and a bachelor’s in behavioral and social sciences from the same school.

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    Erin L. McNary, PhD

    University of Miami

    Dr. Erin L. McNary is a clinical assistant professor of sports administration at the University of Miami, where she teaches sports facility management, event management, and the globalization of sports. Before joining the University of Miami, she taught at several other schools, including Indiana University, Maryville University, and Fontbonne University.

    Dr. McNary’s research explores sports management pedagogy. She also examines the promotion of and ethics in youth sports communication as well as promotion, advertising, and the marketing of youth and marginalized athletes. She has published her research in prominent journals, including the College Teaching Journal, the Journal of Youth Sports, and the Journal of Physical Education and Sports Management.

    Dr. McNary completed her doctorate in sports management with a minor in higher education and student affairs and her master’s in kinesiology and athletic administration from Indiana University. She has a bachelor’s in applied life students and sports management from the University of Illinois and recently completed her training to a be a certified yoga instructor.

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    Susan Mullane, PhD

    University of Miami

    Dr. Susan Mullane is a clinical associate professor at the University of Miami; she also serves as the coordinator of the undergraduate sports administration program. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on leadership in sports, the introduction to sports administration, ethical decision making in sports, and research methods in exercise and sports sciences.

    Dr. Mullane’s research efforts explore sports ethics, academic integrity, and leadership. Her research has appeared in several prominent journals, such as the Journal of Sports Management, the Global Sports Business Journal, and Sports Marketing Quarterly. She has won numerous awards such as University of Miami Outstanding Teaching Award and Friend of the Center Award.

    Dr. Mullane holds a doctorate in higher education and sports administration, a master’s of education in college student personnel services, and a bachelor’s of education in health, physical education, and recreation—all from the University of Miami.

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    Warren A. Whisenant, PhD

    University of Miami

    Dr. Warren A. Whisenant chairs the department of exercise and sports sciences at the University of Miami. Some of the classes he teaches include contemporary issues in sports, sports finance, and research methods. Before joining the University of Miami, he taught at the University of Houston, Florida State University, and Sam Houston State University.

    Dr. Whisenant’s research examines gender and organizational issues within interscholastic athletics, and his work has appeared in the International Journal of Education & Research, the Global Sports Business Journal, and the Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics Annual. He has received several awards, including the University of Houston New Faculty Research Award and the University of Houston College of Education Faculty Research Award.

    Dr. Whisenant completed his doctorate in physical education and sports management from Florida State University; his master’s in business administration (MBA) and master’s in kinesiology and sports management from Sam Houston State University; and his bachelor’s in business administration and management from Southwest Texas State University.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University, a public, land-grant research institution founded in 1867, is dedicated to the tenants of service, curiosity, respect, accountability, and appreciation. The College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences administers the sport management degree, providing training in sport finance and athletics compliance. The College also houses the International Center for Performance Excellence (ICPE), promoting the benefits of physical activity at home and abroad. The Center operates the international sport science publishing entity: FiT Publishing. Notably, Business Insider rated Morgantown the ninth best college town America, and it earned the second “best college town for jobs” recognition from Forbes.

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    Gonzalo Bravo, PhD

    West Virginia University

    Dr. Gonzalo Bravo is an associate professor of sports management at West Virginia University, where he teaches sports leadership, sports governance, an introduction to sports management, the history and philosophy of sports, and research methods in sports management.

    His work explores consumer behavior in sports, sports HR management, sports in Latin America, and policy aspects of sports. Notably, his research has appeared in top journals such as the Journal of Global Sports Management, the International Journal of Sports Policy and Politics, and the International Journal of Sports Management. Also, he received the Excellence in Service Award, among other accolades.

    Dr. Bravo completed his doctorate in sports management from Ohio State University, his master’s in sports administration from Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor’s from the Metropolitan University of Educational Sciences.

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    Dennis Floyd Jones, PhD

    West Virginia University

    Dr. Jones is an associate professor in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences at West Virginia University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. His specializations include sports marketing, sports management processes, and issues in sports studies.

    Dr. Jones’s research efforts explore youth mentoring, sports development, and diversity and have appeared in top journals, such as the Journal of Sports Management and Marketing, European Sports Management Quarterly, and the Journal of Sports Psychology in Action. He writes about starting a sports agency business and frameworks and methods of evaluation. Notably, he has received several awards such as the Outstanding Grants Man of the Year Award and the William H. Moore Award for Excellence.

    Dr. Jones earned his doctorate in health, physical, and recreation education from the University of Pittsburgh, where he concentrated in sports administration, higher education administration, sports pedagogy, and teacher education. He also has a master’s in sports sociology and sports psychology from West Virginia University, and a bachelor’s in physical education, speech, and secondary education from Concord University.

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    Cindy Lee, PhD

    West Virginia University

    Dr. Cindy Lee is an associate professor of sports management in the department of sports sciences at West Virginia University. She teaches classes on issues in sports management, sports finance, and sports economics.

    Her research focuses on sports consumer behavior. Her goal is to gain an understanding of why and how sports spectators behave the way they do, as well as sponsorship mechanisms. Her work has been published in journals such as Sports Marketing Quarterly, the Sports Journal, and the International Journal of Sports Management and Marketing. She has won many honors throughout her career, including the Excellence in Research Award and the Oberteuffer Fellowship for International Graduate Student at the Ohio State University.

    Dr. Lee completed her doctorate in sports management from Ohio State University, focusing on marketing and fan behavior with a minor in statistics and research design. Her dissertation explored the influence of product involvement and fan identification on response to team sponsors’ products. She has a master’s of education in sports management from the University of Texas and a bachelor’s of education from Seoul National University.

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    Gary J. Lhotsky, EdD

    West Virginia University

    Dr. Gary J. Lhotsky serves as an associate professor of sports management at West Virginia University. Before joining WVU, he taught at Glenville State College and Florida State University. He first gained athletic administration experience at the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where he helped manage basketball and wrestling events while he was a football student-athlete.

    Dr. Lhotsky’s research focuses on risk management in stadiums and arenas. His work has been featured in prominent journals such as the Sports Journal, the International Journal of Motorsports Management, and the Journal of Sports.

    Dr. Lhotsky received his doctorate of education in sports administration from Florida State University, his master’s in sports management from Georgia Southern University, and his bachelor’s in speech communications and public relations from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Other Exceptional Professors of Sports Management & Athletic Administration

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    Gil Fried, JD

    University of New Haven

    Dr. Gil Fried is a professor of sports management at the University of New Haven. He also coordinates the facility management concentration, internships, and chairs the sports management department in the College of Business. As a sports facility management professor for more than 20 years, Dr. Fried has written numerous articles, books, and book chapters on sports facility management issues.

    Dr. Fried’s specialty areas include finance, sports law, and facility management. He has published his research in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sports, the International Journal of Sports Management, and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Journal. Dr. Fried has won several awards such as the Betty van der Smissen Leadership Award and Sports Management Outstanding Achievement Award.

    Dr. Fried has a Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University College of Law, a master’s from Ohio State University, and a bachelor’s in business administration from California State University.

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    Todd L. Seidler, PhD

    University of New Mexico

    Dr. Todd Seidler serves as department chair for the graduate program in sports administration at the University of New Mexico. He leads courses in risk management in sports, ethics in sports and fitness, a seminar in sports research, and the principles of coaching. Before he joined the University of New Mexico, he taught at Guilford College and Wayne State University.

    Dr. Seidler’s primary research areas include planning and managing sports facilities, as well as risk management and legal issues in sports. He has published his findings in prominent journals such as the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sports, the International Journal of Sports Management, and the Journal of Coaching Education. He also won the Distinguished Scholar Award and the Presidential Citation Award.

    Dr. Seidler completed his doctorate and master’s in sports administration from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s in physical education from San Diego State University.

Methodology

BSchools used the following criteria to select professors for inclusion in this list:

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