Student-Athlete Development and Winning Success

An Analysis of Directors’ Cup Standings


  • Sarah Stokowski University of Arkansas
  • Amanda Paule-Koba Bowling Green State University
  • Andrew Rudd New England College
  • Alex Auerbach University of Arizona



athletic trainers, college athletics, learning specialists, sport psychologist, winning, Directors' Cup, NCAA


The success of an athletic program is often defined by wins and losses. According to the sporting success framework (De Bosscher et al., 2006) as well as the athlete development literacy (ADL) model (Livengood et al., 2015), athlete development contributes to athletic achievement. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between athlete development personnel resources and winning success at NCAA Division I institutions. A total of 150 universities were included in this study. Utilizing the ADL model (Livengood et al. 2015) of personal and player development literacies, athletic department personnel selected for this study included: academic advisors, athletic trainers, doctors, learning specialists, nutritionists, mental health professionals, physical therapists, sport psychologists, as well as strength and conditioning coaches. Winning success was measured using the final 2017-18 Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup standings (Directors’ Cup, 2019). The results suggest that athletic trainers, learning specialists, and sport psychologists significantly contribute to winning success. As such, athletic departments should appropriately invest in athlete development specialists.

Author Biographies

Sarah Stokowski, University of Arkansas

Sarah Stokowski, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development at Clemson University. She studies college athlete development specializing in the personal development literacies.

Amanda Paule-Koba, Bowling Green State University

Amanda L. Paule-Koba, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Human Movement, Sport, & Leisure Studies at Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include issues in intercollegiate sport, Title IX and gender equity, academic clustering, and recruiting in collegiate athletics.

Andrew Rudd, New England College

Andrew Rudd, PhD, is an assistant professor of sport and recreation management at New England College. His research interests include ethical decision making in sport management, sport spectator aggression, and issues in intercollegiate athletics.

Alex Auerbach, University of Arizona

Alex Auerbach, PhD, is the director of clinical and sport psychology of Arizona Athletics at the University of Arizona. He is responsible for directing and providing mental health services and sport performance consultations to student-athletes.


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