Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Randy Ott

Second Advisor

Colin Cork


In the ever-changing field of college football, creating success has always been a top priority for institutions, and if not achieved, it can be detrimental to an athletic department. Success is important to those directly involved in college football, however, not often is it considered how others may be affected by the success or failure of a college football program. The purpose of this research is to determine what impact successful college football programs have on society and those not directly involved in athletics. In determining the purpose, it was important to find what components of society are impacted by college football programs and how success can influence how impactful they are. To determine this, a literature review was conducted where numerous topics were explored and evaluated to examine which components of society are most impacted by the success of college football teams. Within each of these components, several aspects are impacted by college football success, and each requires thorough research to understand how success can impact them. Additionally, further research was conducted to define success in college football. The results found that it can be defined by win percentage, post-season appearances, and creating a good culture. Each part of the definition of success in college football was determined through further research conducted. In total, this research process focused on the broad impact on society but included smaller intricacies of each aspect and how they play a role in the overall impact of society. This includes things such as institution enrollment, input and output economic models, and theories like the self-identification theory. After collecting the results of this literature review, it was determined that successful college football programs positively impact the surrounding community, local economy, and institution enrollment. Additionally, suggestions are included on how this knowledge can be applied to the Western Michigan University athletic department and how improvements in each component of society can be achieved.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Honors Thesis Presentation - Jake Reynolds.pdf (1832 kB)
Defense Presentation