Helping sports organization solve integrity, growth, and development challenges

Evaluating the Athletics Director

Note:  Following are excerpts from the prepublication manuscript.  Do not distribute without citation.  
Lopiano, D.A. and Zotos, C. (Publication 2013) The Athletics Director’s Handbook:  A Comprehensive Practical Guide to the Management of Scholastic and Intercollegiate Athletics Programs.  Champaign, IL:  Human Kinetics.

The athletics director should consider inviting employees to evaluate his or her performance on an annual basis.  Following are two instruments that could be considered.  The first is a 360 degree evaluation of the athletics director by senior staff members, head coaches and program directors.  An assistant or associate director would be responsible for collecting and aggregating the responses and submitting the results to the athletics director.


TO:             Senior Staff, Program Directors and Head Coaches

FROM:        Associate Director for Business Affairs


Each year, senior staff, program directors and head coaches are asked to provide the Athletics Director with a confidential and candid evaluation of his/her performance.  This evaluation form is designed  to provide feedback from which the Athletics Director can learn and respond accordingly.


  • Questions have been phrased so that the grading scale remains consistent; if the question contains the phrase “does not”, 5 (always) would still be the most positive response.
  • You are not being asked to indicate your identity.  Only the Associate Director for Business Affairs will see individual results for the purpose of aggregating all responses into a summary chart to be given to the Director of Athletics with a copy to his/her immediate supervisor, the Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Evaluation Period:   Last 12 months prior to September 1 – August 31, 20__
  • Deadline for submission: [ ENTER DATE]
  • Rating Scale:  Please grade performance during this period on the following scale:

5 = always         4 = usually        3 = sometimes         2 = rarely        1 = never

________    1.  Assigns reasonable tasks, given my skills and responsibilities.
________    2.  Provides clear instructions regarding expectations and assignments to be completed.
________    3.  Provides appropriate assistance in completing assignments.
________    4.  Does not interfere with my ability to complete assignments.
________    5.  Does not attempt to provide too much direction or guidance.
________    6.  Delegates tasks and authority effectively.
________    7.  Provides me with enough lead time to produce my best work product.
________    8.  Treats me with respect and considers my suggestions or ideas.
________    9.  Treats all staff with respect and considers their suggestions or ideas.
________    10.  Responds effectively to staff concerns.
________    11.  Does not show favoritism to certain staff members or departments.
________    12.  Provides a pleasant work environment.
________    13.  Recognizes the importance and contributions of all staff.
________    14.  Provides staff with the information they need to effectively fulfill their assignments
________    15.  Maintains/encourages open lines of communication between self and staff.
________    16.  Maintains/encourages open lines of communication among staff members.
________    17.  Leads by example in quality of work.
________    18.  Leads by example in meeting deadlines.
________    19.  Demonstrates fiscal responsibility in use of department resources.
 ________   20.  Encourages my continued personal and professional development.
Open-ended questions: 

1.  What are the three most important practices or behaviors that this supervisor should KEEP DOING to make me and our program successful?



2.  What are the three practices or behaviors that this supervisor should STOP DOING to make me and our program more successful?



3.  What are the three practices or behaviors that this supervisor should START DOING to make me and our program more successful?



4.  Any other comments you would like to make:

The chart at the top of this instrument is from Corcoran, K. (2003) Conducting 360° Evaluation of Those Who Manage People in Associations, The Canadian Association, Tools, Tips and Resources, July, 2003.  Retrieved on August 20, 2012 from


DIRECTIONS:  Respond to each item by entering a rating you feel best reflects the athletics director's performance.  Use the following rating scale:
  5 = always         4 = usually        3 = sometimes         2 = rarely        1 = never
You are free to comment on any statement; however, if you respond "sometimes", "rarely", or "never", please clarify your choice with a comment at the bottom of the questionnaire.  Please number your comments according to the statement upon which they reflect.  You are not required to sign this evaluation. The Athletics  Director will only see an aggregate of the data and comments will be typed on a separate sheet. 


_______1.  Is consistent in the development and execution of policy.
_______2.  Effectively promotes sound & fair procedures procedures for assessing  performance.
_______3.  Effectively identifies and recruits highly professional and qualified staff members.
_______4.  Works to retain highly professional and qualified staff members.
_______5.  Manages office staff effectively.
_______6.  Distributes work loads fairly.
_______7.  Delegates responsibilities and allows for timely execution.
_______8.  Allows adequate time for the completion of assigned tasks.
_______9.  Exercises good judgement in arriving at final decisions.
_______10.  Organizes his/her time/effort well.
_______11.  Requires only necessary records, reports & meetings.
_______12.  Is fair in appointment and salary decisions.
_______13.  Treats individuals equitably regardless of age, sex, race, handicap, or other minority classification.
_______14.  Incorporates budget managers input into determination of an annual budget.
_______15.  Allocates monies fairly within the department.
_______16.  Within each program budget, provides for adequate equipment and supplies.
_______17.  Fairly considers the priority of budget items submitted by each budget manager.
_______18.  Provides timely updates on status of budget.

_______19.  Communicates effectively with staff, faculty, and other personnel within the colleges.
_______20.  Listens and is empathetic to staff concerns.
_______21.  Is open and honest in discussing matters of concern with members of the department.
_______22.  Clearly informs staff of their lines of authority and responsibility.
_______23.  Explains basis for decisions upon request.
_______24.  Allows reasonable staff participation in decision-making.
_______25.  Accepts constructive criticism.
_______26.  Keeps the staff informed about coming events & changes in policies and procedures.
_______27.  Communicates effectively with students.
_______28.  Maintains rapport interdepartmentally with other units on campus.
_______29.  Effectively represents the department to all external stakeholders.

_______30.  Creates a climate in which positive and productive work can occur.
_______31.  Encourages and guides innovation.
_______32.  Supports high work standards.
_______33.  Stimulates professional activity within the department.
_______34.  Encourages contributions to the professional field.
_______35.  Maintains morale within the department.
_______36.  Effectively advocates for department or sub-unit needs.
_______37.  Assumes responsibility for decisions and actions.
_______38.  Functions effectively under stressful situations.
_______39.  Addresses conflicts and works diligently towards fair resolution.
_______40.  Minimizes polarization of staff members.
_______41,  Elicits the trust and respect of others.
_______42,  Inspires the confidence of staff and students.
_______43.  Recognizes staff members for significant accomplishments and achievements.

COMMENTS (indicate item number followed by your comment):