PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The University of Pittsburgh made a big commitment to athletic director Heather Lyke on Friday, signing her to a six-year contract extension that will keep her at the school through at least 2024.READ MORE: One Person Shot And Killed At Graduation Party In Washington County
“Heather is leading an ambitious charge to transform Pitt Athletics, and her success here is just beginning,” said Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am thrilled that she will continue to push our athletics programs to new heights-and spur positive change for our student-athletes and our university community-for years to come.”
Lyke just finished her first year leading the program. Her top priorities include bolstering the student-athlete experience and a culture of comprehensive excellence throughout Pitt Athletics, according to a release from the University.
“I am grateful to Chancellor Gallagher and our Board of Trustees for their belief in me, our team and what we are building in Pitt Athletics,” Lyke said. “Their support is invaluable and every member of our department knows our university is committed to helping us construct a championship culture with the right people. I want to thank our university leadership for their belief in our vision of what Pitt Athletics is capable of achieving-athletically, academically, within our campus community and in the City of Pittsburgh.”READ MORE: Police: One Dead After Reported Shooting On Frankstown Avenue
Since joining Pitt in March 2017, Lyke has recruited six new head coaches. Last month, she appointed former Duke assistant Jeff Capel as the new leader of the Pitt men’s basketball program. She also named Florida State associate head coach Lance White as Pitt’s new women’s coach.
Other hires include two-time College Cup champion at Notre Dame, Randy Waldrum, to lead the women’s soccer program; former NCAA champion at Pitt, Keith Gavin, to lead the wrestling program; gymnastics’ Samantha Snider, who led the Panthers back to NCAA Regional Championship competition for the first time in five years; and diving coach Katie Hazelton, who previously lead the Duke Diving Club.
Lyke also extending the contract of head football coach Pat Narduzzi.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Police Safely Locate Missing Woman Bebe Otokonda
“It has been a tremendously rewarding and fun first year at Pitt,” Lyke said. “But the best part is we are just getting started. As proud as we are about our history and tradition, Pitt’s future can be even greater. We are highly motivated to usher in a new Golden Era for Pitt Athletics.”