Faculty & Staff SpotlightDerek Hillestad

Derek Hillestad

Adjunct Professor
Sport Management

Derek Hillestad joined Concordia University, St. Paul as an adjunct professor in Sport Management in 2012. He is currently the Director of Operations at TCF Bank Stadium with the University of Minnesota and has been in the venue management field for 14 years. Derek joined Minnesota in the fall of 2008 as efforts were underway to bring football back to campus through TCF Bank Stadium, a LEED Silver project (c/o July 2009). Derek ushered in ownership from construction phase and was responsible for developing a staff structure, implementing policies, launching a 24/7 security program and developing a green standard with venue operations and engineering. He serves as chief of staff for a team of three department heads who oversee 50 students in eight positions within Stadium Operations. Additionally, Derek oversees Technical Operations for all 16 athletic venues.

Prior to joining UM Athletics, Derek was in the corporate sector with Global Spectrum as Operations Manager at University of Phoenix Stadium. While in Arizona, Derek was part of the venue opening team (c/o June 2006) and spearheaded development of the Operations department. In his position he was logistics manager for large-scale events including the Fiesta Bowl, BCS National Championship Game, USA/Mexico Soccer, Super Bowl XLII, Rolling Stones and Kenny Chesney concerts.

Prior to his appointment in Arizona, Derek worked in university venues for six years, including positions at the University of San Diego and Ball State University. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Sport Management program at both the University of Minnesota and Concordia University – St. Paul and has worked seven Super Bowls. Most recently Derek was Site Director of Turtle Bay Resort for the 2016 Pro Bowl.


  • M.S., Physical Education, Ball State University (2002)
  • B.S., Recreation Management, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (2000)