College of Education, Health and Human Sciences College of Education, Health and Human Sciences
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Sports Management

Degrees to Pursue

  • Sport and Leisure Management (BSED)
  • Sport and Leisure Commerce (MS)

Job Opportunities

  • professional sport team management
  • facility and event management
  • sport marketing agencies
  • corporate sponsors
  • college and high school athletic administration

What is the work like?

As the setting varies so does the workload.  Professional sport teams, college athletic programs, and sport facilities/events can differ depending on size or level of play (major vs. minor league; Division I vs. Division II/III; Olympics vs. Little League).  In large athletic departments or major league teams/events, jobs are more specialized, or focused.  In smaller departments, administrators tend to wear many hats and have an opportunity to be involved in varied aspects of the organization.  Sport managers enjoy exciting careers where each day brings new opportunities, challenges and rewards, �working while other people play.� 

Why is the CEHHS/HSS the Best Place to Start?

In addition to coursework that addresses topics such as sport marketing and sales, sponsorship, finance, and facility/event management, students gain valuable practical experience outside the classroom and explore future career direction by meeting and interacting with sport professionals, and completing a semester-long sport management internship.

How do our faculty work in this career community?

Academic Unit Coordinator, Dr. Richard Irwin, has 20 years of experience working with local sport properties such as the Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Redbirds, AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Southern Heritage Classic, FedEx Sport Marketing, Memphis Motorsports Park, Mississippi Riverkings, Tiger Sports Properties, University of Memphis Athletics as well as national sport properties such as the NCAA.

Alumni Profiles

  • Karin Beckman, Atlanta Hawks/Thrashers
  • Patrick Byrne, AutoZone Liberty Bowl
  • Aaron Hitchcock, Memphis Motorsports Park
  • Jay Jones, IMG
  • Kela Jones, Memphis Redbirds
  • John Mathers, Toronto Argonauts
  • Jeffrey Miller, FedEx Forum
  • Beth Mills, FedEx Sport Marketing
  • Ken �Ziggy� Siegfried, University of Memphis Athletic Fund Raising
  • Abby Smith, Host Communications/University of Arizona Athletics
  • CJ Wiatr, Dallas Cowboys
  • Emily Yates, Harris County/Houston Sports Commission

Special programs we offer

  • Sport Sales Training Program sponsored by the Memphis Grizzlies
  • Study Abroad
  • On-line graduate program in Sport Commerce
  • Sport Marketing Association Student Chapter


Dr. Richard Irwin Ed.D.

University of Northern Colorado, 1990
Phone: 901.678.3476


  • Sport Marketing
  • Sport Promotion
  • Sport Sales and Revenue Production


  • Sport sponsorship
  • Sport sales force training and management
  • Sport cause-related marketing


  • Past President, Sport Marketing Association
  • Distinguished Service Award, Sport Marketing Association (2005)
  • College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Dean's Excellence in Service Award (2004)

Dr. Joris Drayer Ph.D.
University of Northern Colorado, 2007
Assistant Professor
Phone: 901.678.3486


  • Ticketing strategies in sport (including price determination strategies)
  • Secondary ticket market
  • Fantasy sports and its influence on consumer behavior
  • Donor behavior in college athletics


  • Graduate Dean's Citation of Excellence - University of Northern Colorado - 2007
  • Research co-director for funded research for USOC and its member National Governing Bodies
  • Co-principal investigator for funded research for USA Swimming Assistant Director of the College Sport Research Institute and Acquisitions Editor for Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics

Michael G. Huffman, Ph.D.
University of Utah, 1984
Associate Professor
Phone: 901.678.2474

Nathan T. Martin
Assistant Professor
The University of New Mexico
Sport Leisure Studies Professor
Phone: 901.678.2462


  • Organizational culture
  • Safety and risk management
  • Recreational sports and interscholastic athletics
  • Survey development and design

Major Accomplishments:

  • Academic Distinction: Dissertation, The University of New Mexico, June 2007
  • Regents Fellowship, The University of New Mexico, January 2007
  • Academic Distinction: Doctoral Comprehensive Examination, The University of New Mexico, September 2006
  • Outstanding Master's Student Award, The University of Southern Mississippi, May 2001

Dr. Sally R. Ross, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005
Assistant Professor
Phone: 901.678.3473

  • Foundations of Sport and Leisure Management
  • Administration of Athletics
  • Sport and Leisure as Popular Culture
  • Sport in a Global Perspective


  • Sport and gender
  • Girls' and women's experiences and opportunities in sport
  • Media images of athletes
  • The marketing of women's sport and women athletes
  • Social responsibility of sport entities


  • Affiliate Member, Center for Research on Women, University of Memphis
  • Former Assistant Athletic Director, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Illinois Volleyball

Timothy D. Ryan, Ph.D.
Texas A and M University,
Assistant Professor
Phone: 901.678.5003


  • SLC 7321
  • SLC 7503
  • HMSE 4999


  • Work and family issues
  • Coaching and coaching management
  • Quality of work life issues in sport and coaching
  • Quantitative research methods

Stanley N. Walls, Ed.D.
University of Memphis, 1991
Assistant Professor
Phone: 901.678.3477
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Last Updated: 2/1/12