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Athletic Department Power Index: Horizon League

The AthleticDirectorU Athletic Department Power Index, powered by Athlete Viewpoint, continues with a look at the Horizon League. The Athletic Department Power Index will evaluate the desirability of Athletic Director jobs in every Division I conference across the country.


It’s imperative to note the Athletic Department Power Index is not intended or developed to analyze the performance or potential of the current Athletic Director at the respective institutions.  Rather, it is an assessment of the opportunity generally through the eyes of both peers and aspirants to the position were it to become available.


Dozens of sitting Athletic Directors or executive-level administrators who currently are or could soon be a Horizon League AD were invited to share feedback on each AD job in the league.  The data was used to provide detailed insights about the potential for success at each school.


The nine variables independently measured and utilized to determine the rankings include:


  • Athletics facilities relative to Horizon League peers
  • Perceptions about the ability to generate donor & corporate support for the athletics program
  • Perceptions about institutional leadership (e.g. President, Trustees, C-Suite) in support of the athletic program
  • Perceptions about the quality of the institution’s brand
  • Potential for Football success relative to Horizon League peers
  • Potential for Men’s Basketball success relative to Horizon League peers
  • Potential for success in non-revenue sports relative to Horizon League peers
  • Potential to become a ‘Power 5’ AD from each institution
  • Quality of Life (cost of living, schools, culture, geography) if all other factors were equal


To view full results for every survey question, please visit the Athlete Viewpoint portal or scroll down for a recap.


Overall rankings, graded on a scale of seven as ‘much better much better likelihood of success than peers’ & one as ‘much worse’:



Full category by category ranking results:



Northern Kentucky has won three of the last four Horizon League Tournaments, while Wright State, Oakland, Milwaukee, Cleveland State & Detroit have all had solid runs at various points over the past decade-plus. Robert Morris’ entry introduces another program with significant post-season exposure.



Ability to obtain a ‘Power 5’ AD job from each Horizon League AD chair (graded on a scale of seven as ‘much better much better likelihood of success than peers’ & one as ‘much worse’):



This Athletic Department Power Index intends to review all Division I conferences in the coming months. As was the case with previous conferences covered, selected individuals will be invited to participate and share their views about specific conferences and the subsequent data will be shared in a similar manner.  The technical expertise, survey development, survey distribution and data visualization are provided by Athlete Viewpoint.