Heeke Named CMU Director of Athletics

MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan University has selected Dave Heeke (pronounced HEE-key) as its new director of athletics.

Dave Heeke was officially introduced to the university community at a press conference today in Rose Arena.

The East Lansing, Mich., native spent the past 18 years at the University of Oregon, most recently serving as senior associate athletics director/chief of staff.

He will officially begin duties at CMU on Jan. 16. Heeke replaces Herb Deromedi who is retiring after 11 years as AD and 38-plus total years of service to the university.

"Our selection committee showed unanimous support in the appointment of Dave Heeke as the next visionary for Central Michigan University Athletics," CMU President Michael Rao said. "Dave's commitment and loyalty are evidenced by almost two decades of service with a premier NCAA Division I-A athletics program at the University of Oregon.

"We are thrilled that Dave shares the same vision of taking CMU's intercollegiate athletics programs to the next level. His energy, enthusiasm, fundraising skills, and public relations efforts will enhance the overall experience for Chippewa student-athletes and fans. Dave has strong ties to the state of Michigan, and we are elated that he is returning home. We are confident he will continue the legacy of integrity, academic excellence, and competitiveness that his predecessor, Herb Deromedi, has laid forth."

At Oregon, Heeke assisted the athletics director with the daily operation of the Ducks' $40 million budget and 17 sports. His primary role was revenue generation through external operations. He also was the direct administrative supervisor for football, men's basketball, women's soccer and softball.

"I'm thrilled and honored to be selected as the new athletics director at Central Michigan University," Heeke said. "I look forward to working with President Rao, the administration, faculty and athletics staff. We will work together to continue to build successful, championship-caliber programs.

"We will strive to achieve a championship experience for every student-athlete at CMU. It is our responsibility to provide an environment that allows our student-athletes and coaches to compete for Mid-American Conference championships on the athletic field and to excel to the highest levels academically and socially. We will need the support of Chippewas everywhere to provide the resources needed to put forth that effort."

Heeke began at Oregon in 1988 as the assistant regional director of fundraising for the Duck Athletic Fund before moving on to other roles in the athletics department, including regional director of the Duck Athletic Fund (1989), director of marketing and broadcasting (1991), associate athletics director/marketing and media relations (1996), associate athletics director/external operations (1999), and the most recent senior associate athletics director/chief of staff (2002).

Some of the highlights from his career at Oregon include: developing a creative and profitable marketing and sales partnership with ESPN Regional Television; planning and executing a donor seating plan to fund renovation of the basketball arena; installation and game-day operation of a $3.7 million large screen video display system and scoreboard in the football stadium; reorganization of the annual giving program that more than doubled revenues from $3.6 million to $7.6 million initially and currently generates over $15 million annually; serving on a committee that was responsible for a $95 million football stadium expansion; and coordinating an in-house radio and television network that increased rights fees by $200,000.

In his various roles, Heeke was involved in over $160 million worth of athletic facility enhancements.

He played a large role in the aggressive and creative thinking of the Oregon Athletics Department that helped Duck teams experience great success on the playing field. The football, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's tennis, women's tennis, wrestling, softball, men's golf, women's golf, men's track and field, and women's track and field teams all competed on a national level in NCAA postseason tournaments. The Duck football program, for which he was the direct supervisor, has the most wins in the past decade of any school in the Pac-10 Conference. Heeke was responsible for future game scheduling of the football and men's basketball programs.

With a student-athlete graduation rate of 67 percent, academic success also was a priority at Oregon.

Heeke began his professional career as assistant athletic events coordinator at Michigan State for one year in 1987 before heading to Oregon.

Heeke, 42, 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.

From 1984-1987, Heeke coached baseball and hockey at the high school level in the greater Lansing area.

Dave and his wife, Liz, have three boys: Ryan (12), Max (10) and Zach (8).

President Rao was assisted in the hiring process by a 14-member search committee that included representation from the board of trustees, faculty, administrative staff, athletics staff, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, community and business leaders, and the student body.

David W. Heeke Jr.


1987-88 - Michigan State - Assistant Athletic Events Coordinator

1988-88 - Oregon - Assistant Regional Director of Fundraising, Duck Athletic Fund/Portland

1989-91 - Oregon - Regional Director of Fundraising, Duck Athletic Fund/Portland

1991-96 - Oregon - Director of Marketing and Broadcasting

1996-99 - Oregon - Associate Athletics Director/Marketing and Media Relations

1999-2002 - Oregon - Associate Athletics Director/External Operations

2002-2005 - Oregon - Senior Associate Athletics Director/Chief of Staff

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