Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Third Advisor

Drew Moser


The power of high athletic identity coupled with the unfamiliar process of athletic retirement presents a unique crossroads for individuals approaching the end of their intercollegiate athletic careers. Despite the presence of several resources to aid student-athletes, the literature reports a range of both positive and negative experiences for retiring student-athletes. Collegiate coaches serve a prominent role in the lives of student-athletes and therefore present a valuable avenue through which mentorship, identity development, and preparation for retirement can occur. Therefore, the purpose of the research was to explore the impact, if any, of collegiate coaches on the retirement process of student-athletes. Using a quantitative survey design, the study explored the collegiate athletic retirement experiences of 121 retired intercollegiate student-athletes. Results suggested a strong coach-player relationship does not directly translate into adequate preparation for retirement. Rather, participants indicated a desire for more practical discussions on what to expect following retirement. Implications for intercollegiate athletic administrators and coaches as well as implications for future research are discussed.