Derek Hillestad is the Director of Operations at TCF Bank Stadium with the University of Minnesota and has been in the venue management field for 16 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 (full-time & part-time), 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 3 department heads and a team of 50 students in eight positions within Stadium Operations.
Prior to joining UM Athletics, Derek was in the corporate sector with Spectra as Operations Manager at University of Phoenix Stadium. While in Arizona, Derek was part of the venue opening team (c/o June 2006) and 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.
Derek has worked in university venues for a total of 14 years, including positions at the University of San Diego and Ball State University. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Sport Management program the University of Minnesota and has worked six Super Bowls.
Gophers in the Polls: Oct. 18
10/18/2017 - General Release
The University of Minnesota continues to represent at a high level as multiple Golden Gopher teams achieved national rankings this week.
Seven Gophers Will Enter Season Ranked
10/18/2017 - Wrestling
Seven Gophers will begin the 2017-18 season as top-20 wrestlers, with the team coming in at No. 6 in the dual meet rankings and No. 7 in the tournament rankings.
Johnson Is Minnesota's Breakout Star
10/17/2017 - Football
Tyler Johnson is putting up numbers that could rival some of the best sophomore receivers in Minnesota history.