Board of Regents approve contract extension for Arizona AD Dave Heeke
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Arizona Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a two-year contract extension with new terms for the University of Arizona vice president and athletic director Dave Heke. The extension will add two years to his remaining year, totaling three years, as Heeke’s contract now runs until March 31, 2025.
“For more than five years, Dave Heke has been an outstanding leader and ambassador for Arizona Athletics and the University of Arizona as a whole,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “He helped build the framework that has led to unprecedented success for our student-athletes, both on the field and in the classroom. I look forward to collaborating with Dave and his team on the University of Arizona to build on our culture of athletic excellence It’s an exciting time to be an Arizona Wildcat.
Since arriving in Tucson in February 2017, Heeke has delivered a new standard of academic achievement, along with a complete overhaul of facilities, several years of stellar fundraising efforts, and strategic hiring, retention, and staff development. coaches and department staff.
Over the past two years, Heeke has led the Arizona Department of Athletics through a myriad of challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining impressive athletic accomplishments, maintaining academic success for student-athletes and increasing external support to the department each year.
“I want to thank President Robbins and the Arizona Board of Trustees for their continued support of the Athletics Department’s ongoing work to develop academic, athletic, and lifelong champions who live the Wildcat Way,” heek said. “It is a privilege to serve this historic university and the great Southern Arizona community. I am proud of the championship excellence that our student-athletes, coaches and staff have achieved, and I believe we will continue to adding new chapters to the history legacy of Arizona athletics.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona Athletics quickly established itself as a national leader in testing, tracing and treatment. The Athletics Department’s consistent collaboration with campus partners at the University of Arizona and the Pima County Health Department not only developed comprehensive re-entry strategies, but also enabled student-athletes and Arizona staff to be part of a benchmark testing program that has reduced competition cancellations and postponements. . The athletics department successfully completed its strategic, phased approach to spring fan re-entry and became the first Pac-12 program to announce full-capacity plans for the 2021 season.
Over the past year, 14 teams have competed in their respective NCAA playoffs. Additionally, men’s golf, men’s basketball, and baseball have won Pac-12 championships, along with seven individual Pac-12 winners. The women’s basketball team reached its first-ever Final Four in 2021. UArizona had 32 student-athlete All-Americans and 23 current and former Wildcats qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, three of whom have won a medal.
The fall of 2021 saw the Arizona Athletics’ record academic success continue as the department posted an overall average of 3.157. It was Arizona’s all-time highest fall semester GPA and was the seventh consecutive year the department has exceeded its overall fall semester GPA. As of spring 2021, Arizona student-athletes had the highest overall GPA ever in a single semester at 3,172. In the previous semester, 91 student-athletes earned a 4.0 GPA. Last year, three student-athletes were named Pac-12 Conference Scholar Athletes and approximately 200 student-athletes made the Academic Pac-12 Honor Roll.
Heeke has also attracted and retained top coaches. Adia Barnes was retained with a historic new contract after leading her team to the NCAA Championship Game in 2021. This season, the women’s basketball team earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and was selected to host the first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in program history and the first time since 1998.
In his first season as head coach of the men’s basketball team, Tommy Lloyd led the team to Pac-12 regular season and conference tournament titles and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Lloyd was also named Pac-12 Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Coach of the Year. Additionally, the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) presented Lloyd with the Henry Iba Award, its top coaching award.
Other successful coaches have also been retained recently, such as Clancy Shields (men’s tennis), Laura Ianello (women’s golf), jim anderson (men’s golf), David Rubio (volleyball) and John Court (gymnastic). Several new recruits in the past year have also been very successful. Jedd Fisch brought one of the top-ranked football recruiting classes to the Pac-12 and Caitlin Lowe leads a promising softball team that competed in the College World Series last year. baseball coach Chip HaleThe team is ranked in the top 15 this year and just made a College World Series appearance in 2021. Heeke has also hired Becca Moros to guide Arizona’s football program.
In September 2018, Heeke led a transformative $66 million capital investment as Arizona Athletics made critical facility improvements with renovations to Arizona Stadium, Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, Hillenbrand Softball Stadium, McKale Center and to the construction of the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center. These construction projects were built around enhancing the student-athlete experience, enhancing the game day environment, and creating dynamic landmarks for the University of Ottawa campus. ‘Arizona. Additional fan enhancements along the west side of Arizona Stadium were made ahead of the 2019 season, including the creation of the premium SkyBox Club seating area.
Heeke spearheaded development efforts for some of the greatest fundraising years on record. Arizona Athletics’ fundraising efforts have exceeded its annual fundraising goals every year since Heeke’s arrival. The Wildcat Club’s high-profile success includes nearly $35 million raised in fiscal 2019, which was one of the top three fundraising years in the department’s history. Arizona has raised nearly $100 million over the past three years and is on track this year to have one of its best fundraising years in department history.
The athletic department has also added an associate athletic director for diversity, inclusion and employee engagement to help lead a new Inclusive Excellence Council that focuses on the importance of diversity and employee engagement programs. inclusion, educational events and hiring processes in athletics.
In September 2019, Arizona Athletics launched a strategic plan, titled “The Wildcat Way”. This is the first official strategic plan in the department’s history and was created after a comprehensive year-long planning process. The plan has pillars, values, and initiatives aligned with those of the University of Arizona Strategic Plan and focuses on the growth and impact of the athletics program.
Heeke came to Arizona after serving 11 years as athletic director at Central Michigan University. Previously, he worked at the University of Oregon for 18 years in various key administrative positions in athletics.