Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua D. Henson

Second Advisor

Dr. Bethany D. Peters

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeff B. Paul


Recruiting and retaining student-athletes at NCAA Division I and II member institutions is difficult. However, the coaches of non-revenue-producing sport have developed communication measures to assist in successfully fielding teams of culturally unique individuals that build an ingroup culture to compete despite limiting factors. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine the lived experience of non-revenue-producing sporting coaches’ intercultural communication methodical variations in interactions with student-athletes as each coach adapts exchanges to serve as relationship-building elements to balance cultural norms with the acceptance of unfamiliar cultural behaviors. Relevant themes emerged from the data gathered during participant interviews, which were used to structure the information and guide the research. The resulting analysis supported the assertion that non-revenue-producing sport coaches use adaptive measures to foster intercultural communication opportunities to create comfortable spaces for interactions in unfamiliar cultural situations, resulting in positive ingroup relationships that benefit the institution and the overall team culture.