Heffernan returns for his second year with the Lions coaching staff as an offensive quality control coach after serving as assistant offensive line coach last season. Prior to joining the Lions, Heffernan was the offensive line coach at Wayne State University in Detroit for six seasons (2007-12).
LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS: 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).
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-present
Wayne State University 2007-2012
Tori Petry reports on the first Meet Up and Eat Up event at Eastern Market this fall, a Ford Motor Company and Detroit Lions initiative to educate kids on healthy eating.