Interim Athletic Director no more. Josh Heird has been officially hired by UofL as its permanent athletic director after taking over as interim athletic director when Vince Tyra resigned from the position late last year. He had been serving as Tyra’s deputy athletics director since 2019.
Heird has already dealt with quite a bit in his tenure as interim AD. He had to navigate the departure mid-season of former men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack. For as nasty as it could’ve been, Heird was able to make the parting an amicable one. Heird then had to conduct a search for the next head men’s basketball coach. After an exhaustive search, Heird found his man in former UofL great, college assistant coach, and Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne.
Heird was also able to extend Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz to what many consider to be a contract that will keep him at UofL until he retires. The extension runs through the 2028-2029 season. Coach Walz has been the catalyst behind UofL women’s basketball becoming a national power and has led the Cards to two National Runner-up finishes. Cardinal Volleyball Coach Dani Busboom-Kelly, who just led the volleyball program to an undefeated regular season and their first ever NCAA Final Four, also received an extension from the university at the direction of Heird. Her extension is a 6-year extension.
Heird also announced a department that will specialize in navigating the new waters of the NIL era. Name, Image, and Likeness is something all colleges will now have to deal with and Heird recognized the need for a specialized department that could help shepherd the university and its athletes through all the legalities.
Heird’s pedigree is undeniable. He knows Louisville well after spending the majority of his early career here (2007-2016) under former UofL AD Tom Jurich. He served in multiple roles with the final one being assistant athletic director of championships and facilities. Eventually, he made his way to Villanova where he was an associate athletic director for internal operations and finance and then senior associate athletics director and chief athletics operating officer.
In the end, Josh Heird was the person that made the most sense for UofL. During a tumultuous 6-month period as interim AD, he was able to guide UofL athletics through it all and now things within the athletic department are looking as bright as they ever have. Sometimes the right hire, is the one that’s already there.