Arizona athletic director Heeke out after 7 years


TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke is out after seven years on the job.

The school announced on Monday that Heeke will “transition” out of Arizona athletics on Feb. 2 and will be replaced on an interim basis by former Wildcats softball coach Mike Candrea.

“I want to thank Dave for his outstanding efforts in leading our athletics program through a period of significant change,” University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said in a statement. “He helped get our men’s and women’s basketball programs and our football program on a strong trajectory, oversaw the success of several of our sports teams and greatly enhanced the student-athlete experience. Dave always displayed the highest integrity, and I am appreciative of his partnership and dedication.”

Heeke arrived in Tucson after serving as the athletic director at Central Michigan and his departure was announced six days after hiring Brent Brennan as Arizona’s head football coach. Heeke also hired Jedd Fisch, who led a turnaround in the football program before leaving for Washington, and basketball coach Tommy Lloyd, the 2022 national coach of the year.

“It has been my honor and privilege to have served the University of Arizona for the last seven years,” Heeke said in a statement. “Tucson and the entire Wildcat Nation are amazing communities that Liz and I have embraced with our hearts,” said Heeke. “I want to thank President Robbins, our talented coaches, devoted staff, and loyal supporters for their partnership on this journey”

Candrea stepped down as the winningest coach in NCAA softball history in 2021 after leading the Wildcats to eight national championships during his 36-year tenure.

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