Dr. Eric Wood, UCF Deputy Athletic Director, joined the Higher Ed Athletics podcast. In this episode Smith and Wood discuss pursuing advanced degrees and how they can be helpful for current and future athletic directors based on challenges facing the industry. Deciding to pursue a doctoral degree was an intentional decision for Wood to demonstrate commitment to keeping higher education at the forefront of intercollegiate athletics. As both a practitioner and academic, Wood discusses the communication challenges between researchers and administrators within college athletics. This conversation will have the audience ready to look up the list of advanced degrees offered at their own institutions as they look to be a leader in a post-COVID and post-NIL intercollegiate athletics landscape.