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Athletic Director/Coach - High School

"I am a coach and a mentor. I coach students in a gym, on a field, on a track or on ice. To be an athletic director is a serious commitment. My day rarely ends at 3 p.m. and my workweek is often six or seven days long. There are students and coaches that need support and guidance and my job is to give them the tools to succeed. There are highs and some lows, but I tell my students that commitment and passion are what differentiate a high-performance student athlete from the pack; it’s also what differentiates great athletic directors from the pack."

Salary Range:

$47,000 - $83,000

The Tip

As an educator and coach have humility. Recognize you can learn as much from your students or team as they will learn from you.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
  • Education & coaching certifications

  • Volunteer management/mentoring

As an athletic director, expertise in the following is important:

  • Consumer insights

  • Promotions & sponsorship

  • Revenue generation

  • Sales & distribution management

Core Transferable

Be an expert at all core transferable skills:

  • Thinking skills

  • Communication skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Technical literacy

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Sport & Recreation Management with a concentration in physical education (honours)

  • Nationally certified coach

  • Current favourite resource is The Coaching & Leadership Podcast


"I am both a coach and an athletic director. My education and learning reflects this convergence."

Employment Experiences:
  • Camp counsellor in high school and university. My final year I was the sport program coordinator.

  • Undergraduate research assistant. Supported professor studying influence of team sport on leadership skill development.

  • Coached at a private school in the UK for three-years

  • Athletic director for seven years


"I learned how to be flexible and thrive within ambiguity. I learned how to rely on others, and to be relied upon. I became comfortable in a fast-paced environment with a high potential for the unexpected. My experience allows me to control my emotions so stressful situation don’t escalate. I always practice the best ways to check in with people and how to defuse tension."

Community Experiences:
  • My community commitment intersects with my commitment as an athletic director and coach


"A big part of this role is mentoring my own school’s coaches. Most have limited experience or training as coaches but are passionate educators."


Contextual Experiences:
  • Played varsity volleyball in university. Played on provincial team for two years.

  • Teaching at a UK private school immersed me in the impact of culture on education and athletics


"My contextual experiences framed my values. It taught me both the value of work ethic and the influence of cultural context on values. The UK experience taught me the power of empathy and active listening. This experience was cultural “shock therapy” that now influences everything I do, every day."

  • I sought to foster good working relationships with all the people I am dependent upon for deliverables. They need to know me well enough to understand my intentions


"As a coach, I understand motivation and how/why people do what they do. I need to know how to read my student athletes and coaches and know who’s having a bad day and how to deal with that so I always get the best out of everyone."

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