The time Arizona's new AD nearly missed the opportunity - Tucson News Now

The time Arizona's new AD nearly missed the opportunity

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) – Rocky LaRose was getting worried.

It had been at least a day since the former Arizona Associate Athletic Director had left a message on Dave Heeke’s cell phone to gauge his interest in the Wildcats’ job opening.

So far he hadn’t responded.

“Actually, I was getting a little, uh, yeah,” said LaRose following Heeke’s introductory press conference  Thursday morning. “I was thinking, ‘what’s going on here?’”

Blame the cell reception.

“I was lost in Northern Michigan,” said Heeke. “I was actually with my family up at a Northern Michigan ski resort and didn’t have great cell service.”

Can you hear me now? Can you hear me at all? Not quite.

“Got the message,” said Heeke. “Initially thought, ‘I wonder why Rocky’s calling me. She must want to talk to someone about the Arizona job. Maybe someone I know that she wants to check in on.”

Once LaRose’s intention became clear, the hunt for those precious cell phone bars was on.

“I went to another area,” said Heeke. “I couldn’t get a cell signal so I had to drive back to the lodge where I could get the cell signal and that’s where it all started.”

The time between when LaRose left the message and when Heeke returned the call depends on who you speak to.

“It went overnight,” said Heeke.

“It took a couple days,” said LaRose.

“When I did call her she said, ‘Hey if you weren’t going to call me in the next few minutes it was over.”

Thankfully, the story had a happy ending.

“As soon as we connected I could tell he had interest immediately,” said LaRose. “He was very thoughtful throughout the process. He asked excellent questions so I think when we finally came to terms and came together we knew this was the one.”

Heeke will begin his duties officially at Arizona beginning April 1st

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