Sticking with his Michigan coaching roots, Heffernan joins the Lions coaching staff as assistant offensive line coach after serving as the offensive line coach at Wayne State University in Detroit for the past six seasons.
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.
Heffernan’s 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 a 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 is married to the former Jamie Paulson and the couple lives in Plymouth with their son, Connor. He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association.
HEFFERNAN’S COACHING BACKGROUND
Detroit Lions 2013-
• Assistant Offensive Line Coach 2013-
Wayne State University 2007-2012
• Offensive Line Coach 2007-2012
• Offensive Line Graduate Assistant 2005-2006
• Defensive Line Graduate Assistant 2004
• Offensive Line Coach 2003
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