With all of the responsibilities and the extensive time it takes to accomplish everything, an athletic administrator has an extremely hectic and perhaps, at times, overwhelming position. Without some extra help, some individuals may face extreme frustration and possible burnout.
While game management is only one of the hundreds of these responsibilities, it does consume many evenings, particularly in the fall and winter seasons and makes for extremely long days. Help covering these contests represent a good starting point to provide some relief. And there are basically two possibilities – adding an assistant athletic director or game managers for individual contests.
What is the difference between the two options? An assistant, for example, should have some knowledge, experience and ability involving a full-range of tasks and duties and not just providing coverage of contests. This individual would be assigned to help with specific aspects of athletic management, some of which would be handling occasional game management responsibilities in place of the athletic administrator.
A game manager, as the title implies, has a very specific responsibility and that is to be the supervisor at an assigned contest. An out-of-season coach, a teacher or an assistant principal could easily fill this part-time position with a little training. With written step-by-step guidelines and one evening “shadowing” the athletic director while he is managing a game, an individual with a basic understanding of athletics should be able to handle the responsibilities.
However, the difference goes beyond the actual scope or duties of each position. It will probably cost more to fund an assistant athletic director’s position than paying for game managers for individual contests. The undetermined variable, however, is the number of games that would be covered by someone other than the athletic director.
While adding an administrative assistant could also provide help, the following suggestions should be considered specifically with regard to assisting with coverage of games.
If your proposal is approved, you will still want to monitor your game management responsibilities. As schedules expand or additional sports are added, you may need to tweak your coverage plan. Of course, if your suggestion for providing help isn’t approved, you will want to continue to document your time and efforts. It also means that you should network and keep looking for creative solutions.
There should be little doubt that adding an additional individual, or several, to provide help is a key ingredient in order to survive both during a season and for a long, successful career.
Dr. David Hoch is a former athletic director at Loch Raven High School in Towson, Maryland (Baltimore County). He assumed this position in 2003 after nine years as director of athletics at Eastern Technological High School in Baltimore County. He has 24 years experience coaching basketball, including 14 years on the collegiate level. Hoch, who has a doctorate in sports management from Temple (Pennsylvania) University, is past president of the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association, and he formerly was president of the Maryland State Coaches Association. He has had more than 550 articles published in professional magazines and journals, as well as two textbook chapters. He is the author of a book entitled Blueprint for Better Coaching. Hoch is a member of the NFHS High School Today Publications Committee.