Louisville selects Heird to lead Cardinals

by Jun 9, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The University of Louisville turned to a familiar face to take the helm of the Cardinals’ athletic programs. Interim President Lori Stewart Gonzalez announced that Josh Heird, who has served as interim AD for almost six months, was hired today as vice president for intercollegiate athletics and athletic director.

The UofL Athletic Association endorsed the hiring at its meeting Friday morning. The appointment is immediate, although contract terms have not been finalized.

“Josh is our athletics director because he represents who we are today—and who we aspire to be,” Gonzalez said. “He has a vision of the limitlessness of U of L athletics. He has built relationships with student-athletes, coaches, staff, donors, alumni and fans. He has demonstrated time and again that not only is he ready to lead our program—he is ready to elevate it.”  Heird, 41, was selected following a national search that drew a “strong” pool of candidates, including sitting athletic directors from “well-known, established” universities, Gonzalez said. 

“It is impossible for me to put into words the emotion that accompanies this announcement,” Heird said. “The opportunity to lead one of the premier athletic departments in the country means the world to me. Between having an MBA from this institution and being fortunate enough to spend 13 years working for this university, I am extremely aware of the responsibility and expectations that come with this appointment. I will work tirelessly to provide our world-class coaches, staff, and student-athletes with the resources essential to achieve their academic and athletic dreams.

“The Louisville Cardinals are the common thread that connects this entire community – it has been and will continue to be my goal to make this university and this city proud of this program,” he added. “I am grateful to Dr. Lori Gonzalez and others who provided input in this importance decision. Lastly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my family and especially my wife Abbey, for their support through my entire career.” 

In his six months serving as interim athletic director, Heird hired UofL’s popular new men’s basketball coach, Kenny Payne; established an NIL department within athletics; addressed educational payments for student-athletes beginning this fall; and worked with UofL staff to plan for an operating budget for the 2022-23 year that exceeds a record $114 million.

Heird has more than 13 years experience in athletics administration at UofL and at Villanova University.

For the full release from the University of Louisville, click HERE

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