|Mike Heffernan left St. Scholastica after the 2012 season and returned for 2018.
St. Scholastica athletics photo by Derek Montgomery
St. Scholastica athletic director Brian Jamros announced offensive coordinator Mike Heffernan as the program's new head coach on Tuesday.
Heffernan replaces George Penree, who served as interim head coach for the 2018 season after the resignation of Kurt Ramler in mid-January. Heffernan, who was an assistant for the Saints from 2009-12, was brought back by Penree in March to be the team's offensive coordinator this season.
The Saints offense put up record numbers through the air under Heffernan's guidance in 2018. The Saints threw for more than 3,000 yards for the first time in the program's 11-year history and had its highest total offense per game (414.8) since the 2011 season.
Junior quarterback Zach Edwards broke six single-season program records and finished the regular season ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in passing yards per game (319.5) and fourth in total offense per game (334.8). Junior wide receiver Eddie Lee set a program record with 73 receptions. Senior wide receiver Aaron Olson had career-highs with 51 receptions for 844 yards en route to setting career program records for receptions (130), receiving yards (2,374) and touchdowns scored (40).
The Saints offense had five players named to the All-UMAC first team, the most on that side of the ball since 2014.
"My family and I are extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity to be the next head football coach at The College of St. Scholastica," said Heffernan. "I want to thank President (Colette McCarrick) Geary, our administration and our athletic director Brian Jamros. The love and passion that I have for CSS and the Twin Ports community is unwavering. I can't wait to get started and look forward to moving the program back in a positive direction."
Heffernan returned to St. Scholastica after spending the previous two seasons as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at NCAA Division II Saint Anselm. Prior to that, he spent three seasons at his alma mater, Elmhurst, where he had roles of offensive coordinator, run game coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
"This is a great day for Saints football," said Jamros. "Coach Heffernan understands what a special place St. Scholastica is and his passion for CSS and our football program are second to none. Our goal is to return to the top of the UMAC and I am confident Coach Heffernan is the person to lead us there."
In Heffernan's first stint with the Saints, he was the assistant head coach in his final season of 2012, as well as, the offensive line coach, recruiting coordinator and strength and conditioning coach in his tenure. Under St. Scholastica Athletics Hall of Fame head coach Greg Carlson, Heffernan helped guide the 2011 squad to the program's first undefeated regular season, Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship and first NCAA Division III playoff appearance. The 2012 squad also captured a UMAC championship and made the NCAA playoffs.
He coached six all-conference selections from the offensive line and his offensive line paved the way for the top two rushers in program history in Jake Jensen and Christopher Henagin. He coached Stephen Voelkner for three seasons and in all three he was a first team All-UMAC performer. He also helped recruit Pete Stanley, who was a three-time First Team All-UMAC selection and 2014 UMAC Lineman of the Year, as well as, Chris Lambach, who was the 2013 UMAC Lineman of the Year.
The Saints are coming off a 6-4 record in 2018 and a third-place finish in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. St. Scholastica has failed to win a UMAC championship and reach the NCAA Playoffs each of the last three seasons after making the postseason five consecutive years from 2011-15.