Arizona reportedly ousted AD Dave Heeke for 'financial and operational mismanagement'
Arizona is moving on from athletic director Dave Heeke because he brought a “financial disaster” upon the athletic department.
According to a report from The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, Heeke was fired for financial and operational “mismanagement” that resulted in an athletic department “financial disaster” and cost the school major donors. Heeke’s failure to extend former head coach Jedd Fisch — who left for a significant raise at Washington — was also mentioned as reasoning.
247Sports’ Jason Scheer added that an audit of the Arizona athletic department is expected to be released soon.
University president Robert Robbins is currently facing a budget shortage of nearly a quarter of a billion. The school miscalculated its budget for the last fiscal year by $240 million and, as a result, began instituting serious cuts across the board. Last month, Robbins reportedly told the school’s Faculty Senate that layoffs were coming to the athletic department.
In the wake of Monday’s news, Robbins took serious heat on social media from Arizona fans who believe the responsibility ultimately extends to the president’s office.
Heeke came to Arizona in 2017. He hired Fisch as the head football coach ahead of the 2021 season and hired Tommy Lloyd to lead the men’s basketball program ahead of the 2021-22 season. Just last week, Heeke hired San Jose State’s Brent Brennan to replace Fisch.
“I want to thank Dave for his outstanding efforts in leading our athletics program through a period of significant change,” Robbins said in a statement on Monday. “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.”
While Arizona searches for its next athletic director, former softball coach Mike Candrea will serve as the interim.