INDIANAPOLIS – Saint Louis Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator Dr. Janet Oberle is one of 22 senior administrators invited to participate in the NCAA Pathway Program, a yearlong program designed to prepare individuals to excel as directors of athletics or conference commissioners. 


“It is truly an honor to be selected for the NCAA Pathway Program, and I am grateful to (SLU Director of Athletics) Chris May for nominating me,” Oberle said. “I look forward to interacting with the other program participants in a challenging and productive learning environment.”


“Janet’s selection for the exclusive NCAA Pathway Program is a clear recognition of her outstanding work serving student-athletes at SLU and a fantastic honor for the Billiken athletics program,” May said. “It is great to have a departmental leader go through such a high-level professional development program. This experience will unquestionably be a significant asset to both Janet and Saint Louis University athletics.”   


In her current role as SLU’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator, Oberle oversees areas related to student-athlete welfare – academics, compliance, sports medicine and sports performance. She also is the sport supervisor for men's and women's soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's track and field. In addition, Oberle serves as the department’s liaison to multiple campus areas and as a Title IX deputy.


Oberle is entering her 24th season in SLU’s Department of Athletics – a stint that began as a student-athlete on the Billikens’ inaugural women’s soccer team in 1996. She has served as a women’s soccer assistant coach and in multiple administrative roles during her time at SLU.


In addition to her SLU responsibilities, Oberle served on the NCAA Division I women’s soccer committee from 2013-19 and was chair of the committee from 2014-19. Additionally, she was a member of the NCAA men’s and women’s soccer rules committee from 2007-11, serving as chair in 2010-11. Oberle also sits on the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Championship Oversight and Finance committees.


The NCAA Pathway Program incorporates a diverse mix of scenario assignments, higher education and athletics leadership engagement, and a thorough exploration of the NCAA governance process. Participants engage in a series of experiential learning opportunities focused on advancing them to the top role in an athletics department or conference. This includes how to thrive in the ever-evolving intercollegiate athletics landscape.


Katrice Albert, NCAA executive vice president of inclusion and human resources, will serve as the executive sponsor for the Pathway Program. In this role, Albert will have a direct influence on the content design and curriculum development of the year’s programming, while also meeting frequently with the group throughout the year. 


The 22 senior administrators coming from institutions across all three divisions will convene July 8-12 at the NCAA national office for an engaging week of programming. Participants will take a deep dive into effective leadership strategies, the development of culture and organization, factors necessary to obtain an athletics director or conference commissioner position, and ways to thrive and excel in the role. The attendees will hear from accomplished speakers who will help facilitate critical conversations on an array of topics related to the state of college athletics. 


As the program year closes, participants will be separated divisionally with Division I administrators and Division II and III administrators receiving specialized programming surrounding division-specific features and challenges. The participants will meet once more in Indianapolis in the fall and then will select a destination for a spring site visit, where they will receive the opportunity to interact with industry professionals from a wide variety of organizations, providing a well-rounded outlook on leadership styles inside and outside athletics. 


Over the past 22 years, the highly acclaimed Pathway Program (formerly the Fellows Program) has produced more than 100 alumni. Nearly 25 percent of the participants have become directors of athletics, while more than 60 percent received promotions in their careers.