Powered by

Athletic Department Power Index: Sun Belt Conference

The AthleticDirectorU Athletic Department Power Index, powered by Athlete Viewpoint, continues with a look at the Sun Belt Conference. 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 Sun Belt 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 Sun Belt 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 Sun Belt peers
  • Potential for Men’s Basketball success relative to Sun Belt peers
  • Potential for success in non-revenue sports relative to Sun Belt 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:



Appalachian State has won or shared the last four conference football titles. Arkansas State, Louisiana & Troy have also regularly been in the top gridiron tier. Georgia Southern’s historical success, albeit mostly at the FCS level, is notable, while the tandem of Georgia State & Texas State are surrounded by deep pools of talented prospective student-athletes.



Ability to obtain a ‘Power 5’ AD job from each Sun Belt 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. 


Next up: Horizon League