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Manager, Varsity and Athlete Support

Department: Athletics & Recreational Services Effective Date: June 1, 2011
Grade: USG 11/12 Reports to: Associate Director, Athletics

General Accountability

This position is accountable to the Associate Director of Athletics for the achievement of the long range strategic planning as well as the day-to-day implementation of Varsity Athletics within the Department of Athletics. Varsity Athletics responsibilities include the development and implementation of all Varsity programming, evaluation and assessment, leadership in web and communication tools, marketing strategies, budget management, human resource management and extensive student leadership involvement.


Nature and Scope

Reporting to the Manager, Varsity are:

The Manager hires, trains, supervises and evaluates 16 part-time contracted head coaches. These community coaches have full time responsibilities to over 400 student athletes.  The manager is responsible for establishing performance indicators and assessment methods to measure achievement in conjunction with the yearly department evaluation.  This includes performance outcomes, program goals and objectives and individual athlete success.    


Manger is responsible for office manager.  This includes developing transportation schedules and budgets, all eligibility inputs and processes.  Manger provides functional direction to equipment manager.  This includes development of an apparel and uniform budget, forecasting of teams equipment needs and manages product ordering and fulfillment.


In addition, numerous co-op students and contracted part-time students are supervised or directed by the Manager. For example, this includes a Sport Management co-op student, and Varsity Sport Coordinators responsible for game-day operations and business management for select Varsity programs. The Manager, Varsity works closely with other senior managers including the Associate Director Campus Recreation, the Manager of Marketing, Business Operations and the Manager, Facilities to deliver all aspects of the interuniversity program. 


The Manager, Varsity must have very strong skills in supervision, communication, negotiation, problem solving, leadership, financial management, and strategic planning.  In-depth knowledge and understanding of the governance, policies, and the procedures of the provincial (OUA) and national bodies (CIS and other national sport organizations) is essential as well as a complete understanding of compliance procedures affecting 25 Varsity programs and approximately 400 student-athletes.

The business of this portfolio is on several levels: the University of Waterloo policies and procedures, Ontario Universities Athletics (19 Universities) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (52 members).  The work of the Manager, Varsity is to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met on behalf of the University.  The incumbent will provide leadership to the respective sport groups, including coaches and athletes, to ensure a positive and motivating environment within the unique culture of each sport and the philosophy of the Department and the University.

The activities of long-term planning, business-related activities specifically regarding the budget process, and securing coaches falls into this portfolio. The Manager, Varsity is responsible for all operations involved in managing 32 teams with facilities scheduling, eligibility, travel budgets and scheduling, equipment budgets and purchasing, uniform allocation and purchasing, and apparel ordering.  The Manager, Varsity is responsible for all operations involved in managing each of 25 Varsity programs including : team budgets,  game-day operations, therapy services for student athletes, human resources management and leadership, league compliance obligations, and strategic program development and evaluation.


This is a highly accountable position with significant decision making authority that requires extensive interaction and leadership both within the University environment as well as in the external sport community including local community sport, provincial, and national bodies where membership and leadership on committees is required.  Superior leadership skills and facilitation skills are critical to the incumbent’s success in this role.


Strong collaboration and leadership with the other Managers and Coordinators within the Department is essential, including Campus Recreation and Associate AD, where a complete understanding of scheduling and operations is essential, as this impacts Varsity scheduling and operations. The Manager, Varsity also has an obligation to ensure appropriate risk management which is especially important given the physical nature of these activities.


Manager, Varsity is responsible for developing and overseeing a student success model which enhances the student athlete experience for all Varsity and IU programs. This would include:


Orchestrating a meaningful and fulfilling university experience for student athletes requires the integration of many different areas, processes, people and programs. A high degree of interpersonal and political acumen is required, as the incumbent will lead student athlete experience initiatives within the Department with the support of a wide range of partners including the academic units, Residence Life, OHD, Student Success Office, International Student Office, Waterloo International, Health Services, Student groups/societies, Grad Studies, Co-operative Education, Police Services, Health and Safety Office, Health Services, Counseling Services, Alumni Affairs, Office of the Registrar, and Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment. 

Statistical Data

Oversight of Expense Budget totaling approx.

Oversight of Revenue Budget totaling approx. $30,000

Knowledge of extensive facility space and operations including 326,000 square feet of indoor athletic/recreational space, and 90,000 square feet of outdoor space which operates within a 17-hour service day, seven days a week.  

Specific Accountabilities

Directly supervises, conducts performance evaluations, and provides leadership opportunities and mentoring to Office Manager and 16 part time head coaches.  This includes setting clear and reasonable expectations, providing ongoing feedback and establishing performance indicators and assessment methods to measure achievement in conjunction with the yearly department evaluation.    This also includes creating and maintaining positive working relationships by establishing a clear set of reasonable and mutually agreed upon expectations, effectively measuring and evaluating performance, and providing feedback.  The incumbent is expected to provide solid training and development for all direct reports, leading to employee growth and improved performance at all levels of responsibility.

Provides functional direction to the Manager, Marketing; Coordinator, Publications; Coordinator, Communications; and Coordinator, Special Events and Promotions related to Varsity programs promotion, communication, marketing, sponsorship, fundraising, print publications, and branding.

Provides functional direction to the Manager, Facilities; and athletics facility staff related to the execution of responsibilities around Varsity programs facility operations.

Ensures appropriate risk management procedures related to the Department’s Varsity programs activities.  This includes membership on the departmental risk management committee and assisting in the creation of policies and procedures for all interuniversity programs

Provides functional Direction to the Manager of Business Operations and Finance in facility scheduling.


Works collaboratively with the Associate Director, Athletics in overall program collaboration and strategic planning to ensure effective and efficient delivery of programs to students and other stakeholders in an environment that fosters student athlete success.

Participates on relevant campus-wide committees to provide leadership in the areas of student athlete leadership, and engagement (e.g. Housing, Student Success Office, Health Services, FEDs, OHD, Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment, Counseling, Co-op )

Working Conditions