About the Academy

The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is a top 30 liberal arts college with a mission of preparing more than 4,000 cadets for careers as Air Force leaders. Located just outside of Colorado Springs, CO, the USAFA is one of five United States Service Academies throughout the country. Life at the Air Force Academy takes dedication, sacrifice, stamina, strong self-discipline, and excellent time-management skills. However, the rewards include lifetime friendships, honor, personal development, pride, and a career as an officer in the world's most proficient air, space, and cyberspace force. 

As a member of the Mountain West, Western Athletic, Southern, Big 12, and Atlantic Hockey conferences, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics hosts 27 Division I intercollegiate athletic programs. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics also has oversight of the physical education department and physical fitness testing initiatives supporting the entire cadet wing with an overall budget of approximately $60 million dollars.

The Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation (AFAAC) is the revenue generation arm of the Air Force Athletic Department responsible for an approximate budget of $25 million. As a Colorado 501c(3) non-profit, this unique organizational structure was created and is subsequently owned by the Secretary of the Air Force. The mission of the AFAAC is to promote Air Force Athletics to the nation through athletics while providing the necessary resources to the 27 intercollegiate athletic programs to compete at the highest levels of Division I competition. The AFAAC is completely embedded within the Athletic Department and works closely with the leadership of the Air Force Academy, government athletic staff, and other organizations on campus that support the Academy’s athletic mission.

The Position

The Director of Athletics will serve as the strategic leader of the athletic department in a very dynamic and non-traditional position. The Director of Athletics  reports directly to the AFAAC Board of Directors and has a direct line of communication to the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, the Academy’s equivalent of University President. The Athletic Director will also serve as a mission element lead on USAFA’s senior leadership team and as the principal advisor on all athletic issues.


  • Lead USAFA’s Athletic Department as Director of Athletics
  • Provide strategic vision, leadership, management, and oversight of ticketed sport programs
  • Occupy an advisory role to the remaining 22 Olympic sport programs
  • Occupy an advisory role to the Physical Education department
  • Participate in all senior-level institutional strategic planning in coordination with the Superintendent and other Mission Element partners
  • Oversee strategic planning for major gift activity
  • Provide direction for needed facility capital campaign projects
  • Represent AF Athletics with all NCAA, Sport Conferences, and national discussions related to the management of the overall program
  • Encourage academic and athletic excellence of all cadets involved in intercollegiate, club, and physical education programs


  • Bachelor’s Degree with relevant senior-level administrative and management experience in intercollegiate athletics or closely related field in the academic arena. Advanced degree highly desired.
  • Passion for the unique USAFA mission. Highest levels of personal integrity consistent with core values/morals of the United States Air Force Academy
  • Experience with intercollegiate athletic programs at the national level as an administrator, advisor, coach and/or player with an understanding of the administrative, financial, and personnel-related responsibilities of an athletic department
  • Track record of leading a performance- and outcome-based organization with strategic vision
  • Excels in organizational management. Hasthe ability to motivate staff, manage high-performing staff including coaches, and the ability to set and achieve strategic objectives within a complicated budget process.
  • Demonstrated success in dealing with and cultivating relationships with a board of directors (or similar governance body), national level sponsors, major donors, community leaders, and senior leaders across campus
  • Strong background in marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders in diverse environments.
  • Knowledge and experience in financial and budgetary responsibilities.
  • Fluency with the Division I NCAA intercollegiate marketplace and understanding of all major issues/opportunities within the industry
  • Innovative leader with strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to foster and maintain a climate of commitment, culture of respect, diversity, belief in service before self, sportsmanship, and professionalism on all levels
  • Experience in promoting an environment of world-class academic achievement complementing student-athlete health, safety, and welfare while leading with the highest levels of ethical standards

Application Process

The United States Air Force Academy invites applications, letters of nomination, or expressions of interest for the position of Director of Athletics to be submitted to the search firm assisting the Academy. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted at Parker Executive Search’s website by October 30, 2018. For additional information, please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director
Grant Higgison, Associate
Parker Executive Search
770-804-1996, x.118

The United States Air Force Academy encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The Academy does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability, or genetic information. 

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