Director of Player Operations  What They Do

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dotFor your entertainment, men and women play their hearts out on the field, on the ice or on the diamond. But did you ever stop to think who might be behind those players? A team doesn't just form and then suddenly become newsworthy. It takes a whole entourage of coaches, directors, public relations people and many others.

Among them is the director of player operations. They are responsible for overseeing recruiting, handling budgets, overseeing player transactions and negotiating salaries. They act as liaison with government and corporate organizations. They also handle many other aspects of the administration of a sports team or department.

dotThe duties of a director of player operations will vary, depending on the time of the year and how that corresponds with their sport's season. If employed by a professional sports team, they may have certain times when there isn't as much work to be done.

On the other hand, if the director is employed by a university, the work may be available year-round, or only for portions of the year. Cheryl Descent is an intramural sports coordinator at a university. Her day "varies according to the time of year. The academic 'season' is the busiest and 13- to 14-hour days are typical."

dotSome duties of this job are compiling sports statistics, overseeing public relations, securing sponsorships, planning sports ceremonies and negotiating contracts.

In some cases, typically with sports programs through universities and colleges, the job is split into several positions. Some of these other titles may be director of athletics, director of sports information, director of fund-raising and coordinator of athletics.

dotThis is an office position. You can expect to spend eight or more hours per day in an office. However, there will be times when it is necessary to meet with people not associated with the sports team. You might have to attend fund-raising events or be involved with the community.

"Understand that the hours are not going to be the same every week," says Reginald Terry. He is the director of football operations at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

"You have to understand the culture of being in athletics, and especially the culture of being involved in football. It's almost a corporate environment -- if it needs to be done, you'd better get it done. And that might mean putting in more hours."

At a Glance

Be the administrator of a sports team

  • You might be compiling statistics, negotiating salaries or dealing with public relations
  • This job can involve long hours
  • You will probably need a master's degree or a PhD


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General and Operations Managers