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Pitt to hire Lyke as athletic director

| Sunday, March 19, 2017, 11:12 p.m.
Eastern Michigan University
Heather Lyke, Director of Athletics at Eastern Michigan University.

Pitt will hire Eastern Michigan athletic director Heather Lyke to replace Scott Barnes, who left last month for Oregon State.

A news conference to introduce Lyke has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at Petersen Events Center.

Lyke, who grew up in Canton, Ohio, has been athletic director at Eastern Michigan since 2013 after spending 15 years at Ohio State in several administrative positions, including senior associate athletic director.

A University of Michigan graduate where she lettered in softball, Lyke also was assistant athletic director for compliance at the University of Cincinnati and an enforcement intern with the NCAA.

At Eastern Michigan, Lyke oversees 21 fully funded varsity sports. She is the first woman to hold the full-time athletic director position at EMU and will be the first at Pitt.

A study by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators revealed women comprised 10.6 percent of Division I athletic directors in 2014. Now, Pennsylvania has three, including Penn State's Sandy Barbour.

“Heather Lyke is the right person at the right time with outstanding skills, talent, enthusiasm and experience to lead Eastern Michigan to great success,” Eastern Michigan President Susan Martin said when Lyke was hired four years ago.

In 2015, she received a contract extension through July 21, 2020, that included her original annual salary of $245,000, The Ann Arbor (Mich.) News reported. She also was eligible for $103,000 in possible bonuses.

During the fall semester of 2016, Eastern Michigan student-athletes achieved the highest term GPA (3.238) and cumulative GPA (3.266) in school history, including 46 with a 4.0. Five teams set program records for GPA, including football, which secured the university's first bowl invitation in 29 years.

Capital upgrades during her tenure include completion of the rowing boathouse, improvements at softball's Varsity Field, a new Daktronics scoreboard, new football turf field and new basketball and volleyball practice courts. In 2014, she led the Mid-American Conference as chair of its Cost of Attendance Task Force.

During her 1 12 decades at Ohio State, she oversaw 10 of the school's 36 athletic programs and supervised 31 full-time coaches and staff.

In addition to her Bachelor's of Science in Education at Michigan, Lyke earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron School of Law. She has been a member of the Ohio Bar since 1995.

Lyke graduated from Glen Oak High School in Canton in 1988 and was recruited to play softball, basketball and volleyball before matriculating to Michigan.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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