The University of Arizona

In Memoriam: Former AD Dave Strack

Arizona Athletics | January 27, 2014

During his 10 years at the UA, Dave Strack hired the first African-American head coach at a major university with the appointment of Fred Snowden as head men's basketball coach in 1972.

Dave Strack
Dave Strack

Former University of Arizona Director of Athletics Dave Strack passed away on Saturday at the age of 90. Strack served as AD at the UA from 1972-82.

"We're saddened to hear of Dave Strack’s passing," said Greg Byrne, current director of athletics. "He was a forward-thinking administrator who did a lot for the University of Arizona and its athletics department. We send our condolences to Dave's family and friends."

Highlighting his decade-long tenure at Arizona, Strack hired the first African-American head coach at a major university when he appointed Fred Snowden head men's basketball coach in 1972. He also oversaw the opening of McKale Memorial Center in February of 1973. Strack was also instrumental in Arizona’s transition from the Western Athletic Conference to the Pac-10 in 1978.

Prior to his time at Arizona, Strack served as an administrator and head men's basketball coach at the University of Michigan. He compiled a 113-89 overall record at Michigan, including two trips to the Final Four. His 113 career wins rank fourth on Michigan's all-time list.

As a basketball player, Strack was the team captain and MVP at Shortridge High in Indiana before attending Michigan. He became a three-time letterwinner for the Wolverines and captained the 1945-46 squad.