How to Become a Director of Football Operations

Becoming a director of operations in any sport requires knowledge and experience in the field. For football, someone in an operations job will often help student-athletes develop off the field, assist players with housing and financial aid opportunities, or take on anything additional that an administrator or coach assigns. The director of football operations is an integral part of the team, on and off the field, and they ensure coaches, team staff, and players are taken care of and supported.

What Is A Director of Football Operations?

A director of football operations often works behind the scenes of a team. They help recruit and manage players as well as network and communicate with the other staff and coaches. They often spend as much time in the office coordinating with players as they do out on the field talking with coaches. 

The director of football operations can wear many hats but typically focuses on overseeing operations. They’re often paid a high salary and must be organized, have strong communications skills and knowledge of football, and be capable of working long hours. 

What Does A Director of Football Operations Do?

A director of football operations has duties that they must attend to on and off the field. At the college level, they will typically assist with recruiting visits and help athletes with housing and academics once they are a student on campus. 

A professional football operations manager oversees the team’s scouts. They assign these scouts to scouting events, compile films of potential draft picks, and coordinate potential trades and signings with the coaches. 

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How Much Does a Director of Football Operations Make?

In the NFL, directors of football operations make somewhere between $75,000 and $200,000. At the college level, salaries will vary based on school, program, and program success. On average, working at the college level means earning between $45,000 and $50,000 per year. 

Becoming a director of football operations has lots of earning potential. With the right degrees and experience, you could move from one level to the next, slowly working your way up to becoming a top earner. 

What Skills Are Needed?

To get a job in football operations or become a director of operations, you should have experience managing a sports team. In addition to managerial skills, you must also obtain a degree. If you want to work with a college or professional sports team, getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree is almost always necessary. 

Degrees and experience are crucial, but it is also important to have a solid understanding of either the NCAA or professional regulations. If you are going to work within one of these organizations, you must be educated on their regulations as you will have to convey that information to players, coaches, and parents. 

Often, a football operations manager will also oversee the maintenance of training and match equipment. They will also need to know how to use many online programs that help coaches analyze plays and scout. 

Education and Experience

To become a successful football operations manager, extensive experience is often necessary. In addition, directors must be knowledgeable about different aspects of the game as they will be in close contact with players and coaches. 

They must know their players as people as well. They have to understand how they play, their position, height, size, and speed. They must also know what their academics look like and how they behave off of the pitch. 

In the pros, a director of football operations must know how the players did in their career in college. They also have to be aware of their character off of the field. Each of these endeavors means that football operations managers must be organized and analytical. 

Typically, it’s important to obtain a degree before becoming a football operations manager, such as a master’s or bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or sports management. Furthermore, football operations managers will often have extensive education in recreation sports or a bachelor’s in physical education. Although many directors only have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is almost always required to work in a high-paying position. 

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How To Get Into Football Operations

Typically, a football operations director has played football. They’ve often had a career in the pros or very successful college careers, which helps them network and stay connected to the sport. However, it can be challenging to get into football operations if you have not played the sport. The majority of those working in football operations were players, coaches, or scouts. 

Since many football operations managers work both on the field and in the office, it’s crucial to have both skills. Additionally, they play several roles in different organizations ranging from professional teams to a division three football program. 

Football Operations Opportunities

Becoming a football operations manager is not an easy feat, but it can pay off with the right experience and opportunities. If you want to become a football operations manager or a director of football operations, explore opportunities on You can also join our Network for free and connect with industry professionals.