The Sports Management Institute was founded by Mike McGee (former Athletic Director at the University of Southern California and the University of South Carolina). McGee’s concept was developed in 1989 as a joint venture of the athletic departments and business administration schools of the founding universities — Southern California, Notre Dame and North Carolina. The goal was to create a highly academic, graduate-level business program for athletic administrators.

Over the past 28 years, the Sports Management Institute has evolved. Beginning with the 1997-98 class, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) joined SMI as a participating sponsor of the program. In 2000, the Institute added two sponsoring institutions — The University of Michigan and The University of Texas. In 2006, the University of Georgia became a sponsoring institution of SMI.

What is the Executive Program?

The Executive Program is a seven-month course which includes 10 total days in residence – a seven-day summer session and three-day winter session – at two of the sponsoring institutions.

2019-20 Program

June 16-20, 2019:
The University of North Carolina
January 16-18, 2020:
The University of Georgia

Registration begins: October 1, 2018

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2020-21 Program

June 22-26, 2020:
The University of Notre Dame
January 21-23, 2021:
The University of Southern California

Registration begins: October 1, 2019

The curriculum during both sessions addresses key areas for the athletic administrator including:






Each component is taught by either a business school faculty member or a noted practitioner from the field of sports administration. The Institute has recruited a distinguished Board of Visitors who actively participate in the program.

Session Details

The program is tailored to meet the needs of athletic administrators in mid-to top-level management positions who are — or aspire to be — athletic directors, executive directors or general managers in collegiate, amateur or professional sports.

First In-Residence Session

Participants identify a project that contributes to the enhancement of the participant's institution.


The project is to be completed during a six-month period, in conjunction with an assigned faculty advisor.

Second In-Residence Session

Participants present their projects to classmates and members of the Executive Committee.


Students also take part in a formal graduation ceremony.

Tuition for the entire program is $3,495, and includes all instruction and materials, local ground transportation and most meals. Lodging is set up through SMI with favorable hotel rates at the participant’s expense. Transportation to each session location is also at the participant’s expense.