PITTSBURGH (PittsburghPanthers.com) —Heather Lyke, whose leadership of athletics at Eastern Michigan University garnered national praise, has been named athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.
Lyke has an exemplary record of 22 years in increasingly high-level roles in collegiate athletics administration. She served as Vice President and Director of Athletics at Eastern Michigan since 2013. Prior to her EMU tenure, she was a ranking athletic administrator at Ohio State for 15 years. A native of Canton, Ohio, Lyke additionally held posts at the University of Cincinnati and with the NCAA.
Lyke found the beginning of her professional path during her days as a scholarship student-athlete at the University of Michigan, where she captained the Wolverines' Big Ten champion softball team. She earned a bachelor's degree in education from Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron School of Law.
Lyke will be the first woman to hold the full-time athletic director post. Pitt appointed its first A.D., Charles S. Miller, in 1911, 106 years ago.
"Heather Lyke's track record exemplifies her dedication to student-athletes. She has a passion for success in the classroom, on the playing field and in life after graduation," said Gallagher. "She is the perfect person to lead our Department of Athletics into a new era of excellence, and I am thrilled to welcome her and her family to Pitt."
"There was incredibly high interest in the position from seated athletic directors and top deputies," said Dr. Randy Juhl, Pitt's acting athletic director and chair of the search committee that recommended candidates. "But as we proceeded, Heather's breadth of experience, her achievements at EMU and her fit to the values of the University and our region made the committee's recommendation an easy choice."
"It is an incredible honor to accept the director of athletics position at the University of Pittsburgh," Lyke said. "I am grateful to Chancellor Gallagher and the search committee for the opportunity to lead this athletic department filled with dedicated student-athletes, coaches and staff. Pitt has such a storied tradition and great expectations. I am thrilled to be part of Chancellor Gallagher's team. There is a tremendous pride in the Blue and Gold, and we will work extremely hard to make our alumni, donors, community and University even more proud. With all of us working together, I am confident we can build winning teams and a winning culture for Pitt Athletics."
At Eastern Michigan, Lyke oversaw a department that sponsors 21 varsity sports with more than 550 student-athletes. Her tenure witnessed high levels of achievement not only in the competitive arena but also academically and from a fundraising standpoint.