MANHATTAN, Kan. – Rob Heil, a two-time K-State graduate and K-State Athletics employee since September 2017, has been promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development and will lead the Ahearn Fund staff, athletics director Gene Taylor announced today.
Heil, most recently an Associate Athletics Director for Development, is taking over for Josh McCowan, who left K-State to become the Deputy Athletics Director for Athletics Advancement at Mississippi State in June.
“We are excited to have Rob lead our Ahearn Fund staff and our department’s fundraising efforts,” Taylor said. “Rob obviously has established tremendous relationships with our donor base, and the transition to him leading our Ahearn team will be seamless. He has a great plan to continue on the fundraising success that we experienced under Josh, and I look forward his input and vision as a member of our senior staff.”
A native of Olathe, Kansas, Heil has worked 18 years in intercollegiate athletics during his time at K-State and the University of Texas. Since his arrival, he has helped grow the Ahearn Fund’s annual fundraising efforts, including a school-record $58.9 million in overall pledges and cash gifts during Fiscal Year 2022.
“My family and I are so appreciative of this opportunity, and I want to thank Gene Taylor for entrusting me with this important position within K-State Athletics,” Heil said. “It is an exciting time to be a Wildcat, and I look forward to connecting with K-Staters in the state and across the country to support our student-athletes and teams in their pursuit of championships.”
Heil has helped K-State complete the Building Champions campaign that resulted in $100 million in committed pledges, which included $17 million in a capital campaign for Buser Family Park and the Tointon Family Stadium renovation. He also has overseen suits and premium clubs during athletics events, worked with staff to hold the annual Powercat Auction and help plan and execute the annual statewide Catbacker Tour.
Prior to returning to Manhattan, Heil spent 11 years at the University of Texas, working nine years for the athletics department and two years at the Dell Medical School. As an assistant director of development for UT Athletics, Heil managed a portfolio of 200 donors and assisted fundraising efforts for a $15 million outdoor tennis facility and a $15 million project for new athletics offices. As the Director of Development for Principal Gifts at Dell Medical School, Heil led the development office in all aspects of a comprehensive capital campaign for new medical school facilities in addition to closing a $3.1 million estate gift to endow the Chair for Medical Education and create the Academy for Medical Educators.
While an undergraduate at K-State, Heil was active in many parts of the athletics department as he worked as an undergraduate assistant for the marketing and development offices in addition to being a student manager and later a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball program. He obtained his undergraduate degree in communications from K-State in December 2004, while he earned his master’s degree in college student personnel services in July 2006.
Heil and his wife, Beth, have three children, Lainey, Everly and Beckett.