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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Contract changes approved for Director of Athletics David Heeke

Mike Christy / Arizona Athletics
Dedication of the Dick Tomey Practice Fields 11/1/19 in Tucson, Ariz.

An amended contract for University of Arizona Vice President and Director of Athletics David Heeke was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents, the governing body for the state’s three public universities. Heeke was hired as director of athletics in 2017. 

During the Nov. 21 board meeting, the multiple-year employment contract was brought up for approval. The proposed contract has terms of a one-year extension to his four-year term, with a pay increase of $100,000 to make his salary $750,000.

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The contract also stipulated that if he stays within the contract, there will be a retention payment of $100,000 for staying until March 31, 2021 and another $100,000 for staying until March 31, 2022. 

Heeke will receive additional bonuses for certain academic and athletic achievements in the athletic department, according to the stipulations of the contract. This includes bonuses like two weeks’ base salary per gendered sport if the student-athlete cumulative grade point average exceeds that of the general student population, two weeks’ base salary for any football bowl appearances and one, two, three or four weeks’ base salary for any NCAA Tournament basketball appearance. 

Heeke’s duties as director of athletics include overseeing and coordinating the activities and best interests of the university’s athletic department. He is responsible for all administrative duties and making sure all personnel are fulfilling their own duties. The board reported that Heeke has had no issues involving his employment. 

“Dave [Heeke] was hired three months before I arrived on campus and has done a fantastic job as being an inspirational and fantastic leader of our athletics program,” President Dr. Robert C. Robbins said in the meeting. “I appreciate David’s partnership and I look forward to working with him for years to come.”

Robbins also spoke of the highlights of Heeke’s career at the UA. He has improved the softball stadium, swimming pool, indoor practice facility and football stadium, according to Robbins. He also has doubled the size of compliance staff, instituted new and necessary policies and procedures and recruited employees that have greatly improved the athletic department, Robbins said. 

Robbins said he was most proud of the academic performance of the athletic department, with it having the highest GPA in the history of the university. 

RELATED: Arizona men’s basketball welcomes back Assistant Coach Jack Murphy

Regent Jay Heiler also spoke highly of Heeke. Heiler was part of the search committee for athletic director at the university. 

“None of us were aware of the tumultuous road that lies immediately ahead [when he was hired], but David [Heeke] has done a fine job and has established very, very well regarded and hopeful compliance procedures that have put the university on the right track, so I support the extension,” Heiler said in the meeting. 

The board voted on the contract, which was passed unanimously with no abstentions.

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