Feb. 2, 2012
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Flagler College department of athletics announced this afternoon the hiring of Brian Heffernan as its sixth head volleyball coach since 1992. His first official day will be Monday (Feb. 6).
Heffernan succeeds Taylor Mott who had an impressive 13-year run as Flagler head coach, posting a 304-158 record to go along with three Peach Belt and Florida Sun Conference Coach of the Year honors as well as two NCAA national quarterfinal appearances. Mott has relocated to Tennessee with her husband and two children.
“Brian not only has a tremendous volleyball background, he is a man of character who genuinely cares about the overall development and success of the student-athletes,” said Flagler’s Director of Athletics, Jud Damon. “We believe he has great leadership and recruiting abilities as well as the instructional and motivational talents to improve upon the success our program has enjoyed the past three seasons. Brian already has a vision of what this program can be, and I believe he can make it happen.”
Heffernan comes to Flagler with a wealth of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level, including the past four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin. In his previous coaching positions, Heffernan’s trademarks have been excellence in the classroom, successful recruiting, and tenacious defense.
In his four-year stint at Wisconsin, he coached student-athletes who earned 26 Academic All-Big Ten honors and five were named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Teams. While at Wisconsin, he recruited the No. 7 recruiting class (2011) and the No. 8 recruiting class (2010) according to Prep Volleyball. Wisconsin played in front of the third-largest average attendance in NCAA Division I with better than 3,700 fans per home match in each of his three seasons.
As a head coach, he posted a record of 39-87 at Washington State University from 2004-07. He coached one CoSIDA Academic All-America, three Academic All-District selections and 12 Academic All-Pac-10 Conference selections. Heffernan coached one player to All-Pac-10 honors and five to Pac-10 All-Freshman Teams. His 2005 club led the league in blocks per match (3.50) and block assists (604). Heffernan’s 2006 team posted the highest grade point average in the history of the program.
Prior to his time at Washington State, Heffernan was an assistant and associate head coach at the University of Minnesota (2000-03). The Golden Gophers won the Big Ten crown in 2002, and went to the sweet 16 in the same year. Minnesota advanced to the final four in 2003. In his time at Minnesota, Heffernan helped coach two Big Ten Players of the Year, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, 10 All-Big Ten Conference selections, six AVCA All-Americans, one CoSIDA Academic All-America, and two eventual Olympians.
“I want to thank Director of Athletics Jud Damon, and President Dr. William T. Abare, Jr. for this tremendous opportunity,” said Heffernan. It will be an honor to work at Flagler College where a world class education is met by the desire to provide the very best student-athlete experience. I would also like to thank the search committee and coaches who helped make my visit to Flagler an outstanding experience. I look forward to teaming with the student-athletes and staff to build upon the great accomplishments of Flagler volleyball.”
He also has a wealth of international coaching experience. In the summers of 2009 and 2010, Heffernan served as an assistant coach at the USA High Performance Championships. From May-July of 2003, he was a training assistant for Team USA’s women’s volleyball team, under Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert, who were preparing for the Pan American Games. In the summer of 1999, Heffernan was the head coach of the United States Junior National Team who participated in the World Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Heffernan earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education, biological sciences from Pennsylvania State University in 1993 and his Masters in applied kinesiology from the University of Minnesota in 2006. He lettered on the men’s volleyball team for three seasons (1991-93) and earned the Penn State Scholar-Athlete Award. Heffernan helped the Nittany Lions to a pair of Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) championships and berths into the NCAA final four. He began his playing career at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and was on the team that won the 1989 Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association title. Following graduation, he served as an assistant on Penn State’s 1994 National Championship team – the first volleyball team, men’s or women’s, to win a national title from a school east of the Mississippi River. He has a wife, Carol, and three daughters – Kate, Jane, and Lucy.
Flagler College is a member of NCAA Division II and the Peach Belt Conference. The Saints have won the conference regular and post season titles in each of their three seasons in the league, including last year’s 31-7 overall record and 13-1 mark in the conference. Flagler loses three players to graduation, including its first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American in setter Olivia Snipes. The Saints finished 14th in the final AVCA Top 25, its highest ranking in the program’s history. Flagler returns four starters, and libero Casey Gnann - the PBC Defensive Player of the Year. Honorable mention All-America outside hitter Dianna Craine will return for her senior season in the fall.