Dave Heeke

Director of Athletics, University of Arizona

National Advisory Board

Dave Heeke enters his first year as the Director of Athletics, continuing an extensive 30-year career that has encompassed all aspects of the field including 11 years as the Athletics Director at Central Michigan University.
Heeke (pronounced Hee-key) was named Arizona’s 13th Director of Athletics in February of 2017 and officially started in that role on April 1, 2017.

Heeke has developed a wide-ranging understanding of college athletics that includes a number of vital roles. He has experience in department leadership, budget development, fundraising, compliance and sport supervision, among other areas. Heeke has also been heavily involved in facilities master planning and funding, as well as university and external relations.

While Athletics Director at CMU, Heeke instilled his vision of a “Championship Culture,” which included athletic success, academic excellence, national media exposure, record fundraising, and a commitment to facilities. The department was twice honored with the Cartwright Award, which recognizes the Mid-American Conference’s top overall institution based on excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship. CMU earned the Reese Trophy, which honors the top MAC men’s athletic program, three times, and finished as the runner-up for the Jacoby Trophy, which honors the top MAC women’s athletic program, four times under Heeke’s leadership. In addition, the football program won three MAC titles and qualified for bowl games in eight of his 11 years, while both men’s and women’s basketball programs won conference championships.

Heeke is a nationally recognized leader among college athletics directors. He was appointed to the NCAA Division I Athletic Director Advisory Group in June of 2013. One of just 11 Division I Athletic Directors nationwide to be selected for the appointment, the group meets periodically with NCAA President Mark Emmert and his staff to provide feedback and perspective on issues affecting DI athletics. Heeke has also been a member of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and the Division I Football Issues Committee. He twice served on the baseball committee, first from 2006-08 and again from 2010-15, serving as the chair for the 2014-15 season. He was also a part of the football committee from 2008-13, serving as chair in 2012-13.

During Heeke’s 18 years at the University of Oregon, he assisted the athletics director with the daily operation of the Ducks’ overall athletic budget and 17 sports. Heeke served on the AD’s executive staff and was responsible for strategic planning and financial models. In addition to representing the AD at University and conference meetings, he managed all facets of internal operations, while being responsible for revenue generation through external operations units. He assisted in the $95 million football stadium expansion as well as the construction of a $14 million football practice facility and a $5 million soccer stadium.

An East Lansing, Mich., native, Heeke received a bachelor’s degree from Albion College in 1985 and a master’s degree from Ohio State University in 1987. At Albion, he was a co-captain of the baseball team and a member of the club hockey team. He was a three-sport athlete at East Lansing High School and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the East Lansing Educational Foundation in 2007.

Heeke and his wife, Liz, have three boys, Ryan, Max and Zach.