Former Panther football coach Mickey Heinecken will receive the George C. Carens Award for contributions to the game of football from the New England Football Writers. The All-New England team and several others will be honored at the annual banquet on Thursday, December 12, at the Montvale Plaza, in Stoneham, Mass. For more information, contact Dick Lipe at Bentley University at 781-891-2334. The award has been given annually since 1952.
Heinecken took over the football program at Middlebury in the fall of 1972. Twenty-eight years later, he retired at the age of 62 with a career record of 126-96-2, ranking him eighth all-time in wins in the history of New England Division III college football history. He has coached more games (223) and has more wins (126) than any other coach in school history and is one of only 13 coaches in New England to have amassed over 100 wins in his career. Following the 1977 and 1981 seasons, Heinecken was named the All-Division New England Coach of the Year.
Heinecken has been instrumental in the development of the Vermont Chapter of the National Football Foundation. He founded the Vermont group in 1993 and has served as its chairman ever since. The Foundation's purpose is help to promote the positive aspects of high school football in Vermont. He also served for 12 years as a member of the Middlebury Union school board.
Prior to his arrival at Middlebury, Heinecken spent 10 years as an assistant coach at the University of Delaware. There he coached both the Blue Hens line and backfield and was the defensive backfield coach of the 1972 Delaware team that won the Lambert Cup.
Heinecken played football during his undergraduate years at Delaware where he graduated in 1960 with a degree in physical education. He received Little All-America honorable mention honors in football, was named to the All-East and All-Conference teams and served as the captain during his senior year. He entered coaching in 1961 as a graduate assistant in football while working towards his master's degree which he later obtained in guidance and counseling.
A distinguished ROTC graduate at Delaware, he later served as a lieutenant in the Army from 1963-65 in Fort Benning, Georgia. There he was the offensive line coach for the Fort Benning Doughboys in 1963, while the following year he coached the defensive line when they won the U.S. Service Championship. He later returned to Delaware to coach football, freshman basketball and varsity lacrosse. As lacrosse head coach, he complied a career record of 68-45 over 10 seasons. His 1970 and 1971 teams captured the Middle Atlantic conference and USILA Central Atlantic Division title.