Athletic Director Compensation in the ACC

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Whit Babcock Athletic Director Compensation
Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock ranks well among his ACC peers in total compensation. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Recently, we saw an article on that led us to an article on, which finally led to a listing of 2017-18 collegiate athletic director compensation on The data was compiled by Spencer Fane, a law firm that markets to university athletic departments.

Here’s a look at the athletic director compensation in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). As is normal for databases such as this, many of the ACC schools aren’t listed, because they are private universities that don’t have to list their financial details publicly, or they are in a state that doesn’t require public disclosure of athletic department finances.

However, compensation for athletic directors at 11 of the 15 ACC schools are listed, so it gives you a good idea of where those schools rank compared to each other.

We reached out to @OX_VT on Twitter and had him put together an infographic for us.

Infographic by @OX_VT on Twitter

For the 11 schools shown, Virginia Tech’s Whit Babcock ranks fourth in compensation, at just over one million dollars a year.

How does Babcock’s compensation rank compare to Virginia Tech’s overall athletics revenue ranking in the ACC? The most recent data we have available for college sports finances, from Fiscal Year 2016, shows that Virginia Tech ranked sixth in the ACC in overall revenue that year. Only eight of the ACC’s 15 schools reported financial data, with the absences consisting of Boston College, Duke, Miami, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. Virginia Tech’s actual position in the ACC, revenue-wise, might be lower than sixth, with those other schools included. Notre Dame in particular most likely generates more athletic revenue than Virginia Tech.

In terms of the most recent Learfield Directors Cup standings, which measures the all-sports success of a college athletics program, Babcock is earning his pay: the Hokies are ranked fourth in the ACC in the most recent rankings, 15th in the nation.

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9 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. Not really, its easily explained.

      Carla Williams is a rookie AD and Debbie Yow is terrible at her job.

      1. There is always an explanation for gender gap pay, most of the time not valid. Regardless of what people think of Yow, she has been an AD forever, and her experience equals or is greater than that of her peers. Granted, performance counts, and while in this case you probably are correct, there is always a bogus explanation to reinforce the status quo.

  1. If I was Duke fan I’d be wondering why are we paying so much? If I was a Notre Dane fan I’d suspect the athletic director has some incriminating pics on some high ranking church officials.

  2. Whit is earning his pay and is doing an outstanding job. Tech is lucky to have him and I hope we keep him. Excellent hire and an outstanding person as well as AD.

  3. Interesting that the lowest rated Power 5 team is Georgia Tech all the way down at 217 out of 258. Maybe I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am but that’s an eyebrow raise for me.

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