Skip to main content

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sports Leadership

A sports leadership degree provides the knowledge, skills, and business and communications dispositions needed to break into the sports industry. You’ll learn about the future of data driven coaching and sports strategy, and gain both theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills.

Professor's POV of Sports Leadership at JCU

The Mike Cleary Sports Leadership Program at John Carroll

As a John Carroll sports leadership student, you’ll choose one of two tracks. The sports and athletic administration track is geared towards students who hope to pursue management positions in collegiate athletics, sports franchises, elementary and collegiate athletics, and professional sports franchises. The coaching and personnel development track prepares students for careers in coaching and the wellness industry. Both tracks prepare students for careers in sports communications, marketing, coaching, fan engagement, sponsorship, youth recreation and sport, and collegiate and high school athletic administration. Recent graduates have gone on to coach football and basketball at the college level, and been hired by the Cleveland Guardians, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sponsor United, JCU Athletics, and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The John Carroll campus and surrounding NE Ohio area provides the ideal viewpoint to study sports as a macro-business product. Besides Cleveland being home to 8 independent sports franchises in the Cleveland area, the John Carroll (Exercise Science and) Sports Studies department has connections with local high school athletic directors, the Cleveland Guardians, and ESPN Cleveland. JCU alum include NFL leaders like David Caldwell, Nick Caserio, Josh McDaniels, Tom Telesco, and David Ziegler.

Top Employers

Sports Studies Logos

BA in Sports Leadership Program Highlights

Students in the globalization and sport class spend a semester learning about the role of sports and physical activity around the globe throughout time, before traveling to Ireland in the spring.

You’ll complete career exploration your first year followed by 36 hours of volunteer work throughout your sophomore and junior years, and a 150 hour internship your senior year, at places like ESPN cleveland or the Cleveland Guardians.

Sports Leadership students have experiential learning and employment opportunities in:

  • Fan Engagement (Carroll Crazies)
  • JCU Sports Information
  • Facility and Event Management
  • Athletic administration
  • JCU inter-collegiate teams: Football, wrestling, men's and women's basketball, men's soccer
  • JCU Recreation/Intermurals

“With an individualized, student-centered approach , we strive to create successful and compassionate leaders in all areas of the sports industry through an engaging curriculum of academics, research, and service.”

—Brooke Turner, PhD, Associate Professor, Exercise Science and Sports Leadership

Jacob Betz

Jacob Betz, '17

Manager of Business Solutions at Sponsor United

Bachelor of Arts, Sports Leadership

Captain, JCU Men's Lacrosse 


On the front lines of sports sponsorships, Jacob uses data and industry insights to connect brands with sports properties to drive revenue and awareness. He parlayed his Sports Leadership internship with SponsorUnited into a full-time job.


Alumni Across The Region Map

Sports Leadership Alumni Across the Region

John Carroll University alumni live, work, teach and support communities throughout the region from Northeast Ohio to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.