Arizona Athletics

Heeke’s fourth hire already at Arizona upcoming with Maes stepping down

Dave Heeke has been on the job as Arizona’a athletic director for only 13 months but he’s about to make his fourth head coaching hire.

Since replacing Greg Byrne on April 1, 2017, Heeke has hired a new men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach (Augie Busch), football coach (Kevin Sumlin) and gymnastics coach (John Court).

He has yet to hire a woman as a head coach at Arizona but that could happen with the women’s tennis coaching job becoming vacant after former Wildcat standout Vicky Maes stepped down Thursday after coaching the program for 17 years.


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Heeke made 16 head coaching hires in 10 years (2006 to 2016) at Central Michigan, which means he has already reached one-quarter of that total in a little more than a year at Arizona.

His hires at Central Michigan have mixed results with many of them still trying to prove themselves with the Chippewas. His best hire: women’s basketball coach Sue Guevara, who coached Central Michigan to a 30-4 record and Sweet 16 appearance this season.

Heeke was forced to make five firings, including three of the coaches he hired. Five of his hires left on their own accord to other jobs.

Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke meets John “Button” Salmon. (Photo courtesy of Rocky LaRose)

Here’s a brief summary of Heeke’s hires in each sport at Central Michigan (where applicable, after he was hired there in 2006):

Baseball — Steve Jaksa was hired in 2003, three years before Heeke became the Chippewas’ athletic director.

Men’s Basketball — Heeke hired former Providence and Drake coach Keno Davis in 2012-13, replacing Ernie Ziegler, who was fired after going 75-111 from 2006-07 to 2011-12. Heeke hired Ziegler on June 29, 2006 — his first hire at Central Michigan — after Ziegler was an assistant under Ben Howland at Pitt and UCLA. Ziegler replaced Jay Smith, who resigned after coaching the program for nine years. Davis is 98-97 in his six seasons at Central Michigan. He has yet to make the NCAA tournament. He had his best record at Central Michigan last season, going 21-15 before losing in the quarterfinals of the Tournament.

Women’s Basketball — Heeke hired Guevara on April 17, 2007, after he did not renew the contact of six-year coach Eileen Kleinfelter. Guevera is 204-148 in 11 seasons with the Chippewas. Before reaching the Sweet 16 this season, she had taken Central Michigan to the NCAA tournament only once before in 2012-13.

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Track and Field/Cross CountryMark Guthrie was hired by Heeke as Central Michigan’s director of the track and field and cross country programs in July 2013. Guthrie replaced Willie Randolph, whose contract was not renewed after he coached four seasons. Randolph was hired in 2009 by Heeke after Jim Knapp retired as men’s coach after 24 years. Karen Lutzke’s contract was not renewed in 2009 after seven years as the women’s coach. Guthrie left Central Michigan in the last May (after Heeke’s departure) to run the Wisconsin-La Crosse program. Under Guthrie, the Chippewas set 17 indoor and outdoor track & field program records, featured 11 All-MAC cross country runners, three MAC Freshman of the Year Award winners in track & field, one Outstanding Field Performer Award at the MAC Outdoor Championships, eight titles at the MAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and two All-America honors in track & field.

Women’s Field Hockey — Heeke hired Molly Pelowski on Feb. 3, 2015. She replaced Cristy Freese, who became the school’s senior associate athletic director after coaching the program for 29 years. Pelowski was 3-49 in less than three seasons. Pelowski was relieved of her duties last October by Heeke’s replacement, Michael Alford.

Football — John Bonamego was hired by Heeke on Feb. 8, 2015, his third hire to lead the football program. Bonamego (21-18 after three seasons with Central Michigan) replaced Dan Enos, who resigned to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas after five seasons. Enos was hired by Heeke in 2010 after Butch Jones left to Cincinnati. Jones was hired by Heeke in 2007 after Brian Kelly also left to coach the Bearcats. The Chippewas finished 8-5 this season culminating with a 37-14 loss to Wyoming in the Famous Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

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Women’s Golf — Cheryl Stacy was lured away from Michigan by Heeke on Dec. 10, 2014. Stacy was hired after previous head coach Tom Beidleman was fired from the position in August 2014 for lacking the necessary degree requirements. Beidleman was hired by Heeke on April 18, 2013. The women’s golf program started in the 2014-15 school year. Central Michigan placed ninth in the MAC Championship last month. It marked the first time in the program’s four trips to the tournament that it has not finished last in the 10-team field.

Women’s Gymnastics — Jerry Reighard coached before Heeke’s arrival at Central Michigan, since 1984.

Women’s Lacrosse — Heeke hired Sara Tisdale on July 16, 2014, as the school’s first women’s lacrosse coach. Tisdale, a Central Michigan alum, is 24-27 in her three seasons.

Women’s Soccer — Peter McGahey was hired by Heeke on Jan. 9, 2013. He is 25-22-5 in his four seasons as the head coach. McGahey replaced Neil Stafford who resigned to take the same position at Cincinnati. Stafford replaced Tom Anagnost, who left to Miami in 2011. Anagnost replaced Tony DiTucci, who resigned in 2008 for personal reasons. Central Michigan agreed to pay $450,200 to two women’s soccer players after they accused DiTucci of inappropriate sexual activity.

Softball — Margo Jonker has coached at Central Michigan for 38 years.

Women’s Volleyball — Mike Gawlik was hired on Jan. 16, 2016, Heeke’s last head coaching hire at Central Michigan. Gawlik was hired after Eric Olson’s resignation went into effect Dec. 31, 2015. Olson, hired in 2004, resigned after a two-month investigation regarding an accusation of unprofessional behavior toward athletes. The investigation was terminated upon Olson’s resignation. Central Michigan is 26-31 in Gawlik’s two seasons as head coach.

Wrestling — Tom Borrelli has coached at Central Michigan for 25 years.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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