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June 22, 2017

Lyke Announces Two Executive Athletics Hires

Heather Lyke, director of athletics, recently announced that two executive roles in the department have been filled. Chris Hoppe has been hired as executive associate athletic director for sport administration and student-athlete support services and Kelly Brennan has been named executive director for strategic initiatives and engagement. Both come to Pitt from Eastern Michigan University, where Lyke was athletic director before starting at Pitt in March.

Chris Hoppe

Chris Hoppe

In his previous role at Eastern Michigan University, Hoppe served as senior associate athletic director for administration. In his new capacity, Hoppe will have oversight of sport administration, NCAA compliance, financial aid, life skills, equipment services, sports performance, student conduct and Title IX. He additionally will serve as a liaison to Pitt’s Academic Support Services for Student-Athletes.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Chris to our leadership team,” Lyke said. “I’m confident he will bring excellent ideas and a strong work ethic to help us build a culture of comprehensive excellence. His previous professional experiences and focus on the quality of our student-athlete experiences will be great assets for Pitt.”

“My family and I are incredibly excited to return to Western Pennsylvania,” said Hoppe, who previously was an athletics administrator at Robert Morris University. “We have witnessed firsthand the passion this region has for the University of Pittsburgh, and couldn’t be more pleased to play a role in the proud tradition of Pitt Athletics. The dynamic team that Heather Lyke is assembling in the department is committed to providing Pitt student-athletes with an experience that is second to none. I look forward to getting to know the student-athletes, fans and friends of Pitt Athletics and working together to become the premier athletic department in the ACC.”

Kelly Brennan

Kelly Brennan

Brennan will be responsible for developing departmental strategic initiatives as well as planning, executing and creating extraordinary experiences and events for donors, fans, coaches, staff, student-athletes and the campus community. She spent the past four years at Eastern Michigan University as the director of presidential events and protocol.

“We are fortunate to be able to recruit and hire a talented teammate like Kelly,” Lyke said. “She brings an incredibly unique expertise and dynamic personality to our team. Kelly will help us develop numerous strategic initiatives as well as engage our donors, fans and campus community in a meaningful and memorable way.”

“I am honored and so very excited to have the pleasure to work with such a dynamic and forward-thinking athletic director,” Brennan said. “She is truly one of a kind and surrounds herself with incredible people, all of whom I am thrilled to be working with. I am also really looking forward to partnering with her and the entire Pitt family to create wow and magical memories that leave a lasting impression with our student-athletes, donors, campus community, alumni and engaged fans.”

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