RUDY DAVALOS, 63
Athletic Director, New Mexico
Davalos, the AD at Houston in the late 1980s, oversees 21 sports and a $20 million budget. He's known as a fund-raising ace whose marketing and promotions programs bring in more than $6 million annually.
MORRIS DAVENPORT, 46
Senior Coordinating Producer, ESPN
When college coaches and players want to go into broadcasting they call this man. The force behind College GameDay, Davenport, a former Western Michigan defensive back, oversees ESPN's college football and golf production.
SONNY HILL, 66
Philadelphia basketball guru
Think Allen Iverson is the king of Philly hoops? Guess again. All bow to Hill, whose 35-year-old summer leagues are legend. An adviser to the 76ers, Hill also runs tutoring and counseling programs.
LISA LESLIE, 30
Center, Los Angeles Sparks
The face of the WNBA is a glamourous one. Leslie has won two Olympic gold medals and two league titles, and has contracts with Nike, Gatorade and a modeling agency. Until another star emerges, the WNBA needs Leslie.
C. VIVIAN STRINGER, 55
Women's Basketball Coach, Rutgers
A women's hoops legend, Stringer is the only coach—male or female—to have taken three schools (Cheyney, Iowa and Rutgers) to the Final Four. She is one of the highest-paid ($410,000) coaches in women's sports.
SATISH SANAN, 55
Owner, Padua Stables
In the sport of kings Sanan, who was born in India, has a kingdom like few others. Since he entered the business in 1997, his Florida stable has grown to nearly 250 horses and has produced two Breeders' Cup champions.
DAMON EVANS, 33
Senior Associate Athletic Director, Georgia
A former Dawgs wide receiver Evans has fast-tracked his way to the No. 2 spot behind Vince Dooley in Athens. He had a significant voice in the recent hiring of basketball coach Dennis Felton, an African-American.
LEBRON JAMES, 18
The Chosen One? Who's to argue? Pick James or Carmelo Anthony at No. 1? Please. James will put fannies in the seats throughout the NBA Indeed, the next time SI compiles this list say, in a decade, he just might be near the top.