Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Educational Technology


Educational Technology

Major Advisor

Jesús H. Trespalacios, Ph.D.


Brett E. Shelton, Ph.D.


Chareen Snelson, Ed.D.


A leadership gender gap exists in politics, business, and higher education, and there appears to be one in collegiate esports. Researchers have conducted studies on some aspects of esports; however, we know little about women’s experiences leading collegiate esports programs. The purpose of this qualitative study - a descriptive (transcendental) phenomenology – was to explore and describe the essence of women’s lived experiences in leading collegiate varsity esports programs at higher education institutions. In-depth interviews were the research method. Seven women employed as collegiate varsity esports coaches or directors described their historical context, present experiences in the profession, and how this experience is meaningful. NVivo qualitative software was used for organizing, analyzing, and coding data for themes and commonalities. This preliminary work led to the development of textural and structural descriptions and, finally, the essence of women’s experiences as collegiate esports coaches and directors. Ultimately, the essence of the lived experiences of a woman in collegiate esports leadership funneled down to meaningful managing with excellence using skills developed through previous life experiences. Meaningful managing with excellence is that “condition or quality without” which being a woman in collegiate esports leadership “would not be what it is.”