The Director of Player Personnel is a management position within a sports organization whose main job is to support the athletes on the team. Depending on the level of team--amateur, college or professional--the director's job may be to help teach, train and care for the players. This may also involve negotiating contracts, or in the case of college athletics, school commitment agreements. He also helps in player trades and acquisitions, including being directly involved in recruiting or scouting new players for a team.
Nature of the Work
As a Director of Player Personnel, much of the work involves direct contact with the team's players. On a daily basis, the director may help coordinate team travel, player appearances off the field, train and support players in handling media coverage, assistant with personal matters that effect the team and manage new player orientation programs and initiatives. The director also works with team office management and the coaches to ensure players are being supported to perform at their best athletic level. He is also responsible for being keenly aware of player contracts and agreements with his team and others. Although those working in this position can be found at a desk, many times the work can be outside the office traveling with the team.
A bachelor's degree is usually required for a job in sports management. This often means a degree in business, public relations or in sports management. There are college and universities that offer sports or athletic management majors, and some schools also offer graduate programs. Courses in personnel management, labor contracts and human resources are beneficial.
Many directors of player personnel at the professional level have come from the ranks of former players, managers, coaches, scouts or from other positions in sports management. The most significant experience needed for directors at the professional level is a strong background in and considerable knowledge of the sport and its off-the-field characteristics. The success of a director depends a lot on his ability to relate to, work with and gain the confidence of the players he is helping to train and/or care for. Directors on semi-pro or amateur teams are less likely to come from the ranks of former players, but some experience in the sport is essential.
The average pay can vary greatly depending on company, location, sport, industry, education and experience. According to a survey conducted by Simply Hired, a web-based job search site, the average annual salary for a director of player personnel is $65,000. However, directors working for national or international level professional teams can make considerably more money, upward of $200,000 or $300,000 a year or more.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs for what are generally labeled as sports officials will grow 23 percent faster than the average of other occupations through the year 2018. The reason is the continuing growth of sports and sports-related organizations. However, the competition for such jobs will remain high. Those with at least a bachelor's degree and a high level of experience in a particular sport as a player, coach or manager are likely to have the best chance at securing a job as a director of player personnel.