Colorado Mesa University men’s hoops coach Jim Heaps now an assistant AD | PostIndependent.com

Colorado Mesa University men’s hoops coach Jim Heaps now an assistant AD


Staff Report

GRAND JUNCTION — Colorado Mesa University men’s basketball coach Jim Heaps has been appointed as Assistant Athletic Director for Student Success, effective immediately.

In this new administrative role, Heaps — who has led the Mavericks men’s basketball team for 17 seasons — will serve as the principal liaison between the athletic department and Mesa’s faculty and academic services.

“As a coach, Jim ensured players knew they were students first and athletes second,” Mesa President Tim Foster said. “He has a staunch reputation as someone who demands the best of students both on the court and in the classroom. He’s a wonderful fit for this new position.”

Andy Shantz, who has served as the associate head coach under Heaps for the past 10 seasons, will take over and serve as the interim head coach of the Mavs. Shantz also played basketball under Heaps when the school was still named Mesa State College.

Heaps’ responsibilities will include working one-on-one with student-athletes and faculty members, advising students who have not declared a major on choosing a career path, and working with Mesa’s Career Services department to provide students with more in-depth assistance. He will also collaborate with Mesa’s Advising Center to assist and advise students with major selection, course selection, and career goals, and he will help ensure student athletes’ progress toward degree requirements.

Additionally, he’ll assist with NCAA compliance, event management and fundraising.

“Across the state, [Mesa] is known for its top-quality academic programs. This new position reinforces the university’s commitment to academic rigor and is a wonderful partnership between athletics and academics,” Mesa Athletic Director Tom Spicer said. “Although I’m the new kid on the block, I know of Jim’s stellar reputation on the court. I’m confident that his dedication to excellence will extend to this new role,” he added.

Heaps led the Mavericks to a pair of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships and four NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament appearances. His career record with the Mavs is 299-172 since the 1996-97 season, when he took over for longtime Mesa coach Doug Schakel.


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