Pitt’s Heather Lyke Nominated for Athletic Director of the Year by Sports Business Journal
On Monday morning, Sports Business Journal announced that Pitt Athletic Director Heather Lyke had been nominated for Athletic Director of the Year.
Other nominees include two other ACC athletic directors – Notre Dame’ Jack Swarbrick and Virginia’s Carla Williams – as well as Alabama’s Greg Byrne and Baylor’s Mack Rhoades.
Athletic Director of the Year
▪️ @UofAlabama's Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne)
▪️ @PittTweet's Heather Lyke (@Pitt_LykeAD)
▪️ @Baylor's Mack Rhoades (@BUMackRhoades)
▪️ @NotreDame's Jack Swarbrick
▪️ @UVA's Carla Williams (@ADWilliamsUVA). pic.twitter.com/R5wKvMTg0T
— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) May 3, 2021
Lyke led a Panthers Athletic Department that had one of its best years in history across the entire department, headlined by multiple NCAA Tournament runs as well as a potential run in the near future.
Pitt Volleyball made history, going 19-5 and making it all the way to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament before falling in a heartbreaker to seventh-seeded Washington. Pitt Wrestling sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament, including two who were ACC Champions.
On Monday, Pitt Men’s Soccer continued its special season, defeating Monmouth and moving on to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Pitt Women’s Soccer also had a very successful season, with Amanda West leading the nation in points per game and the team finishing 11-5.
Head Coach Mike Bell has completely turned around Pitt baseball, and with 11 games left on their schedule, the Panthers sit at 20-11 (14-10 ACC) and are ranked No. 16 in the nation according to Baseball America.
Overall, despite all of the struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020-21 was a very successful year for Lyke and the Pitt Athletic Department.
While it’s great the minor non-revenue sports are doing pretty good. The Major revenue sports are in not so good of shape. Football is trending water with it being 26 and 24 the last 4 years. And Basketball is a train wreck. And those 2 Major’s fund the minors.
Rewarding AD Lyke due to success with Olympic sports programs with a prestigious honor makes no sense. Look at the status of the basketball program which has had a mass exodus of scholarship players. Recruiting is a disaster and may turn to walk-ons to bolster the roster. One of the reasons is lack of control over the teams inside and outside the locker room. Lyke supervises Capel. The football program has never achieved what fans expected with Narduzzi. It’s mediocre at best. The two major sports are vital to incoming revenue to all sports’ programs and Pitt trials Penn State… Read more »
Give her time. The trend is good. Football and basketball, because of being the big-money sports, understandably takes longer to turnaround. HL has done an excellent overall job considering just being the AD for a few years. She deserves praise, encouragement — not criticism, at this stage. Great job thus far, HL.