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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Dave Heeke “bullish” about UA Athletics, excited about future

Carmen Valencia
UA athletic director, Dave Heeke, gets interviewed by Alec White, a reporter for the Daily Wildcat, before the start of a press conference held on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

After Sean Miller’s press conference on Thursday afternoon, Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke met with reporters in the back of the Lohse Room to answer any questions regarding this past year in Arizona sports.

Even in a year in which has been marred with Title IX issues throughout multiple programs, men’s basketball assistant coach Book Richardson getting arrested, and overall underachievement across Arizona’s marquee programs, Heeke’s confidence hasn’t wavered.

“The future is very, very bright for Arizona athletics. I think all of our programs are poised to do great things going forward. I am really bullish about Arizona athletics and I think we are in a good positon,” Heeke said.

Heeke who is going into his second year on the job, was handed a job that was riddled with issues from the previous regime under now University of Alabama athletic director Greg Byrnes. Over the last year, Heeke has had to face several challenges within UA athletics, trying to clean it all up.

Heeke has taken this year to evaluate all of these things, and to make decisions based on the culture change he feels Arizona needs. The athletic director even said he spent his first couple of months putting out fires where he could, taking care of the “now”, while also planning for the future. 

As UA looks to change the culture around the teams, improving the environments in which those teams compete and practice has been at the forefront of Heeke’s agenda. He has been the lead man on the five ongoing facility upgrades throughout campus, as programs like softball, football, and swimming will all receive brand new training facilities or upgrades to their stadiums.

          RELATED: Renovations coming to Arizona athletic facilities

“The stadium is right on track, we might be sweeping the floors and painting a few things right before we kickoff against BYU but we will be ready to go for the new season,” Heeke said.

“The (football) practice will be done late in the fall, November-ish, so we are excited about that,” he added.

In an era where universities across the nation are in a collective arms race when it comes to facilities, Heeke is both focusing on improving the immediate culture as well as looking out for Arizona’s future.

Follow David Skinner on Twitter @davidwskinner_

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