Faculty Spotlight: David J. Kelley, Master’s in Sport Administration

Q: What are the Courses you teach?

SMGT 2030-Economics of Sport; SMGT 3031-Sport Finance & Development; SMGT 4010-Sport Facility & Event Management; SMGT 7036-Applied Financial Management Strategies in Athletics.

UC BearcatsQ: What do you emphasize most in your teaching?

My philosophy of teaching has evolved from many years of teaching and learning experience. As I reflect on my beliefs regarding teaching and learning, I find that my mission as a professor is threefold:

  • To value positive learning;
  • To inspire enthusiasm for learning;
  • To appreciate diverse perspectives for lifelong learning.

To accomplish this, I enjoy applying a wide variety of strategies based on essential educational principles including positive reinforcement theory, enthusiastic learning theory and interdisciplinary theory of knowledge. Following these basic mission-based principles have helped me grow in my love for teaching and learning. More importantly, I have discovered that, by sharing my enthusiastic ‘passion’ for teaching and learning, and using these principles with enjoyment and compassion does connect well with learners. As a result, teaching with transparency, passion, empathy, and ‘sincere enthusiasm’, effectively impacts learners. My philosophy in delivering instruction is aligned with analyzing a dynamic concept and/or field of study by collecting and linking ideas from multiple disciplines. I believe there are some challenges, relationships and/or other phenomena in sport management that appears to be more appropriate to view them from a variety of perspectives rather than the scope of one curricular lens and in doing so, enhances lifelong learning.

MS Sport Admin Faculty

Q: What are some of your favorite assignments?

Within SMGT 3031-Sport Finance & Development; the students collaborate, create and ultimately present in front of their peers a corporate sponsorship proposal for a specific need of the athletic organization.  Within SMGT 4010-Sport Facility & Event Management, the students collaborate, research, interview and ultimately present in front of their peers a critique of a sport facility.  In SMGT 7036; the Online Master’s students collaborate and partner with a college, high school or youth sport organization and go through the grant writing process based on the grant guidelines on behalf of the partner organization.

Q: How long have you been at UC?

As of 2021, this is my 12th year here at the University of Cincinnati.


Q: How long have you been teaching?

I have been in education/teaching for 28 years.

MS Sport Admin UC Online

Q: What is your background/professional experience in athletics?  

I have served as the graduate assistant basketball coach at Syracuse University while in graduate school and then taught/coached and administered athletics at the junior high and high school levels for over 10 years.

Q: Any degrees/certifications/awards/etc.?

I have a Ph.D. from Ohio University (2002) and I am also a Certified Athletic Administrator with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (2014) and in 2018-19 was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for the School of Human Services at the University of Cincinnati as well as the Golden Apple Award in 2017-18 as well as the Dr. Simon Anderson Faculty Recognition Award in 2017-18.


Professor Kelley was recently awarded the 2022 Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association/National Federation of State High School Association’s Citation.

Q: Favorite sports team?

The Boston Celtics.


For more information on Dr. Kelley, check out some of his recent interviews:

Sports Degrees Online – Dr. Kelley
Coach & AD Magazine – Dr. Kelley

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