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The University of Florida Online Master’s in Sport Management Program Forms Partnership with PAADS

The University of Florida’s online Master of Science (MS) in Sport Management program, in a newly formed partnership with the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS), is proud to offer focused coursework that prepares students to become experts in both athlete performance and athlete development.

As the nation’s first PAADS-approved academic degree program, the MS in Sport Management curriculum will include the opportunity for students to complete a specialization in elite athlete performance and athlete development. The specialization’s required courses examine both the psychological and physiological elements of performance training, offering both theoretical and practical insight into the creation of effective performance enhancement on the field or court along with the development of the overall well-being of the athlete. Students learn to work with athletes on an individual, case-by-case basis, analyzing their emotional, psychological, physical, and overall well-being. The specialization also includes specialized coursework in other, personal facets of athlete support, including helping athletes develop character and life skills, refine their media interactions, and manage their career development and personal finances.

After completing the athlete performance and development courses, students will have met the academic requirements necessary to receive a Professional Level Athlete Development Specialist certificate through PAADS.

“This master’s degree is the first of its kind in the United States” stated Professor Michael Sagas who serves as chairman of the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida. “The curriculum allows students to receive an excellent sport business management foundation while also allowing for the ability to obtain specialized training in elite athlete performance, athlete human development, and overall athlete development from the youth to professional level. The program is uniquely positioned with PAADS as a partner and will utilize faculty expertise from many of the PAADS partner organizations, world renown sport psychologists, elite coaches, and athlete character development experts.”

“PAADS is pleased to partner with the University of Florida in offering this program, which will further the PAADS mission of advancing the profession of athlete development specialists.” said Kathleen Stroia, Chair of the PAADS Board of Directors. “The education provided though this specialized coursework will enable graduates of the program to make valuable contributions in maximizing the potential and overall well-being of athletes, both on and off the field of play.”

This new specialization provides a valuable, practical course of study for any students looking to work directly with athletes at any level of the sport industry, and help them reach their full potential on the field and in life. For more information about the specialization requirements and the online Master of Science in Sport Management program, please visit

About the Program

The MS in Sport Management program is offered through the College of Health and Human Performance and the Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management (TRSM), both of which maintain close connections to the Gator Nation.

Many of the faculty members within the TRSM department have contributed directly to making the Florida Gators the nationally recognized, acclaimed organization it is today. Not only has this athletic community become an essential part of the University of Florida experience, but members have gone on to share their talents on the world stage. Students of our on-campus and online programs have the opportunity to interact directly with this storied athletic program and the experts that help it develop.


The Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS) is the global leader in the profession of athlete development. PAADS is a non-profit, membership association of professionals who help athletes maximize their potential and overall well-being. Through inter-sport collaboration, PAADS establishes standards to advance the athlete development profession. The Global Partners of PAADS include: ATP World Tour (ATP), Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Football League (NFL), National Rugby League (NRL), United States Olympic Committee (USOC), United States Tennis Association (USTA), Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). For more information on PAADS, please visit

Press Contact

Michael Sagas
Professor and Chair
Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management

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