Terry Heffernan
Offensive Quality Control


Heffernan returns to his post as the Lions’ assistant offensive line coach, the same title he held in his first season with Detroit in 2013, after serving as offensive quality control coach in 2014.  Prior to joining the Lions, Heffernan was the offensive line coach at Wayne State University in Detroit for six seasons (2007-12).


Detroit’s offensive line continues to be one of the top pass protecting lines in the NFL for an offense that has passed more than any other team over the past five seasons (3,258 pass attempts).

  • Injuries along the offensive line in 2014 resulted in seven different starting lineup combinations over the course of the season, including the team’s NFC Wild Card game at Dallas (1/4). Heffernan’s development of rookies T Cornelius Lucas and G Travis Swanson provided necessary depth up front, allowing the Lions offense to rely on different contributors throughout the season.
  • Swanson, the team’s third-round (76 overall) pick out of Arkansas in the 2014 NFL Draft, started four of the 16 games he played in and was named 2014 Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
  • The 2013 Lions offensive line featured three new starters in LT Riley Reiff, RG Larry Warford and RT LaAdrian Waddle, with veterans C Dominic Raiola and LG Rob Sims anchoring the unit as they finished second in the NFL in sacks allowed (23).
  • Detroit also finished second in sacks per pass play (3.5-percent) and tied for first in percentage of negative offensive plays (6.9-percent).
  • The offensive line allowed one or fewer sacks in 11 games during the 2013 season, and allowed only two or fewer sacks in 14 games.

In 2012, Heffernan mentored All-GLIAC guard Curtis Ferguson and five Academic All-GLIAC selections (C Thom Box, DE/LS Mike Komor, G Sean McCarthy, T Nate Theaker and T Ben Walker). Ferguson was also voted as the team’s 2012 Offensive Most Valuable Player. His 2011 offensive line unit helped the Warriors average more than 200 rushing yards per game, leading WSU to a school record for overall wins (12), road wins (8) and four consecutive road playoff games to reach the national title contest.

The Warriors ranked in the Top-40 nationally in four categories in 2011 – ninth in fewest sacks allowed (0.94 per game), 23rd in scoring offense (34.38 ppg), 26th in passing efficiency (144.02) and 33rd in rushing offense (200.56). In 2010, Senior LT Joe Long was named the recipient for the Gene Upshaw Award as the top lineman, both offensive and defensive, in Division II under Heffernan’s guidance.

Prior to his tenure at WSU, Heffernan spent two seasons (2005-06) as a graduate assistant offensive line coach at Michigan. During his time in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines compiled an 18-7 overall record and appeared in the Rose Bowl and Alamo Bowl. Heffernan began his coaching career in 2003 as the offensive line coach at Cumberland University before working as a graduate assistant with the defensive line at Louisville. 

A native of Arlington Heights, Ill., Heffernan attended Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill. and went on  to become a three-year letterman and two-year starter at center for the University of Dayton. He earned All-Pioneer Football League academic honors twice and was a member of four consecutive conference championship teams. He graduated from Dayton in 2003 with a bachelor of arts degree, majoring in communications.

Heffernan was born October 12, 1980. He is married to the former Jamie Paulson and the couple lives in Plymouth with their sons, Connor and Casey.


Detroit Lions 2013-

  • Assistant Offensive Line 2013, 2015-
  • Offensive Quality Control 2014

Wayne State University 2007-2012

  • Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line 2007-2012

Michigan 2005-2006

  • Offensive Line Graduate Assistant 2005-2006

Louisville 2004

  • Defensive Line Graduate Assistant 2004

Cumberland 2003

  • Offensive Line 2003

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