University of Pittsburgh

Heather Lyke
Director of Athletics

Heather Lyke

The 2020-21 academic year marks Lyke’s fourth at Pitt. Pitt’s progress was recognized when Lyke was named the Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year—one of the highest-profile honors annually bestowed in the Pittsburgh sports community—in February 2019. The year 2020 presented many challenges that continue to reverberate across America and abroad. In that regard, the University of Pittsburgh has a major asset in Director of Athletics Heather Lyke.

Her influence during these challenging times has not been limited to Pitt. Lyke is an ACC representative on the NCAA Division I Council, a high-level group responsible for decision making that shapes the future for all of Division I Athletics. She has been on the front lines of vital NCAA legislation geared to help student-athletes navigate this climate and beyond.

Moreover, in July of this year, Lyke testified in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the negative impact of gambling on collegiate athletics. Her passionate and impressive testimony was punctuated by a call for Congress to prohibit such wagering for “student and student-athlete well-being; the integrity of amateur competition; and the compliance impact on all our institutions of higher education.”

Beyond Pitt, she also provides leadership on NACDA’s Executive Committee as well as the LEAD1 Board of Directors. In the Pittsburgh community, Lyke serves on the Board of Directors for the Hillman Cancer Center as well as P3R, a non-profit that promotes running and city races.

From 2013-17, Lyke served as vice president and director of athletics at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to EMU, she was a ranking athletic administrator at Ohio State for 15 years. Lyke additionally held posts at the University of Cincinnati and with the NCAA.

From 1998-2013, Lyke worked at Ohio State, where she was a member of the athletic department’s executive team and a lead figure in the development of the Buckeyes’ strategic plan.

Lyke served at Cincinnati as the assistant athletic director for compliance as well as the senior woman administrator from 1996-98. She began her career at the NCAA as an intern in the enforcement and student-athlete reinstatement department from 1995-96.

Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, Lyke starred at GlenOak High School in volleyball, basketball and softball. She accepted a softball scholarship from Michigan, where she lettered four years as a first baseman and was an All-Academic Big Ten honoree.

Lyke and her husband, David Catalano, have three children: Elle, Sophie and Eli.