Arizona Wildcats name Central Michigan's Dave Heeke as new athletic director

Posted at 12:59 PM, Feb 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 08:27:59-05

Long-time Central Michigan athletic director Dave Heeke has agreed to take on the same role at The University of Arizona, the university announced Saturday

Heeke, who has served as Central Michigan's AD since 2006, will replace former Arizona AD Greg Byrne, who accepted the same position at Alabama last month.

"Heeke has been in discussions for other major-college AD jobs over the recent years, but he has remained at CMU," wrote Mark Snyder at Detroit Free Press, adding Heeke spent 18 years as a member of Oregon athletics before joining CMU.

"I couldn't be more excited to be part of the Arizona Athletics family," Heeke said in a statement. "It is truly an honor to be named the new Vice President for Athletics and have the opportunity to return to the prestigious Pac-12 Conference.

"Arizona has developed a storied history and tradition and I'm looking forward to being a part of the next chapter in Tucson. I can't wait to Bear Down."

A native of East Lansing, Michigan, Heeke oversaw a $22.5 million renovation project of the CMU Events Center,Snyder reported. Read Heeke's full CMU bio here.

The Wildcats have conducted an extensive search for their new athletic director to replace Byrne, who had served as UA's AD since 2010. Senior associate athletic director and former UA softball star Erika Hanson Barnes has served as Arizona's interim AD.

"Dave Heeke is an outstanding hire for the University of Arizona," Byrne said in a statement. "His vast experience working with student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and university communities at CMU and in the Pac-12 makes Dave the perfect selection."