For 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
The 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."
Some duties of this job are compiling sports statistics, overseeing public
relations, securing sponsorships, planning sports ceremonies and negotiating
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.
This 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."