Dave Heeke, director of athletics at University of Arizona, was the luncheon speaker at recent Rotary Club of Scottsdale meeting held at Scottsdale's McCormick Ranch Golf Club's Pavilion. When introducing Heeke, Rotarian Chuck Kim stated that he was named U of A's 13th director of athletics in February 2017 and started in that role the following April. Heeke is a veteran in college athletics and the Pac-12 Conference. He served as athletics director at Central Michigan University for 11 years and in the Oregon athletics department for 18 years, finishing his tenure there as senior associate athletics director/chief of staff.
A native of East Lansing, Michigan, Heeke received a bachelor’s degree from Albion College in 1985 and a master’s degree from Ohio State University in 1987. At Albion, Heeke was co-captain of the baseball team and a member of the club hockey team. 
Heeke's goal at University of Arizona is to develop a "culture of excellence" and ensuring that U of A's 500 scholarship athletes are receiving a world-class experience and excelling more in the classroom than ever before. 
The U of A athletic department has an annual budget of $94 million and employs 290 people. Of the 65 large universities, U of A's budget falls in the middle, with top budget at $140 million. As the athletic director, Heeke is overseeing one of college basketball’s marquee programs and managing upgrades to its sports facilities and stadiums. He wants the sports department to be the "front porch" of the University. 
Heeke addressed college basketball, noting that U of A's basketball program was in the national news most of last season.  Per Heeke, basketball is changing, with the university's desire to take it back from the NBA pro dominance of "one and done" and go onto a pro career. The University wants players who are willing to stay in college for four years.   
For more information about the Rotary Club of Scottsdale speakers, projects, programs and meeting dates and locations, see www.scottsdalerotary.org. Visitors to Club meetings are always welcome; call 480-945-6158.
Dr. Honora A. Norton