In the Game, but Rarely No. 1

Many women help run major athletic programs, but few have cracked the glass ceiling

Despite Decades in the Game, Few Women Lead Athletic Programs 2

Kelly West for The Chronicle

Chris Plonsky, who has worked in Texas' athletic department for 22 years, recently led negotiations with ESPN for a $300-million, Longhorns-only TV network.

Thirty years after women's sports programs joined the NCAA, women have made little headway in landing the top posts in athletic departments.

Women occupy five of 120 athletic-director positions in Division I-A. That means they lead 4 percent of the biggest departments at a time when female athletes make up nearly half of all Division I athletes. The numbers are not much better in the rest of Division I, where women hold about 8 percent of the top jobs.

Such a paucity at the