Heeke: Administrative Reorg Positions Us for Success

July 8, 2016 MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - An administrative reorganization is complete and positions Central Michigan University Athletics for short- and long-term success, said Dave Heeke, associate vice president and athletics director.

Six of the seven new positions were filled with current leaders taking on new responsibilities, Heeke said. The other was filled this week as Jim Knight, a communications professional with experience in higher education and media management, was appointed assistant athletic director for communications and marketing with CMU Athletics.

“In each position, we are building on each person’s strengths and addressing the needs of our more than 475 student-athletes, 18 varsity programs and other vital areas,” Heeke said. “I frequently talk about our ‘Championship Culture’ here, and each of these professionals model this daily.”

Knight, a 1984 CMU graduate, worked for 29 years in daily newspapers, including as managing editor and sports editor at The Ann Arbor News. When The News was one of the first news organizations to transition to a primarily online news source in 2009, Knight led the coverage of the University of Michigan athletics, oversaw the photo/video team and coordinated a redesign of the sports webpages.

“Jim gives us an experienced team leader and a strategic planner in a new role with CMU Athletics,” Heeke said. “Already, he has worked to improve our internal and external communications.” 

Most recently, Knight was a lecturer in CMU’s journalism department and a part-time special assistant to Heeke. Before that, he was the first director of marketing and communications with the CMU College of Medicine.

Other moves within the department:
  • Craig Willey, formerly the senior associate athletic director for external operations, now is the deputy athletic director/external operations.
  • Cristy Freese, formerly the senior associate athletic director for sport administration, now is the executive associate athletics director/sport administration.
  • Krystal Swindlehurst, formerly the assistant athletic director for internal operations and human resources, now is the senior associate athletics director of internal operations.
  • Mike Dabbs, formerly the associate athletic director for marketing and ticketing, now is the associate athletics director of the Chippewa Athletic Fund and ticketing.
  • Benjy Wilber, formerly the associate athletic director for compliance, now is the associate athletics director of institutional support services.
  • Rob Wyman, formerly the assistant athletic director for communications, now is the associate athletic director for sport administration and communications.


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