JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – Arkansas State head football coach Blake Anderson has announced another addition to the Red Wolves' coaching staff, naming Keith Heckendorf the team's tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.
Heckendorf comes to Arkansas State after serving in an offensive quality control position at North Carolina the last three seasons, including the 2012 and 2013 campaigns when he worked on the same staff as Anderson under head coach Larry Fedora.
The Tar Heels produced three winning records, an Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division championship in 2012 and a victory over Cincinnati in the 2013 Belk Bowl during Heckendorf's tenure at the school. During his three seasons at UNC, Heckendorf worked with players such as quarterbacks Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams.
Prior to joining North Carolina, Heckendorf was Western Carolina's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2008-10. During his three seasons with the Catamounts he coached four players named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman Team, including running backs Michael Johnson and Quan Warley, quarterback Zack Jaynes and wide receiver Deja Alexander.
Under Heckendorf's tutelage in 2008, Jaynes was named the SoCon Freshman of the Week after throwing for 302 yards at nationally-ranked Furman. One year later, Johnson was dubbed the SoCon's Freshman of the Year through Heckendorf's offense, the first Catamount to accomplish the feat since 2000.
His final season at Western Carolina saw the Catamounts offense increase its total offense average by over 40 yards per game, which included the highest rushing average at the school in five years.
Heckendorf went to Western Carolina after spending three seasons on the Nebraska staff, which he joined as an offensive quality control coach in 2005. One year later, he moved to offensive graduate assistant coach and helped coach the offensive line and the kickers on special teams.
Heckendorf worked with six players who made their way onto an NFL roster, including first team All-American and fourth-round NFL Draft selection Alex Henry (kicker) and offensive linemen Carl Nicks, D.J. Jones, Keith Williams, Lydon Murtha and Matt Slauson.
During his time in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers played in two bowl games -- the Alamo Bowl during the 2006 season and the Cotton Bowl in 2007. Heckendorf has also worked as the assistant director for the Elite Quarterback Academy at both Nebraska (2005-10) and Louisville (2013).
A Mosinee, Wis. native, Heckendorf's coaching career dates back to 2004 when he returned to his hometown to serve as an assistant coach for Mosinee High School. He coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers for the varsity squad.
Heckendorf had a standout career as a quarterback at St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minn., from 2000-03. He was a two-time finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is given annually to the top player in NCAA Division II football, finishing second and third in the voting. He was also a consensus American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America pick each season as a four-year starter.
In 42 career games under center, Heckendorf completed 58-percent of his passes (761-of-1,307) for 9,695 yards and 101 touchdowns - four of which continue to rank as SCSU school records. He also holds five single-season records with each coming during the 2003 season: most completions (232), yards passing (2,905), touchdown passes (37), best completion percentage (62.5%) and total offensive yards (3,189). He additionally ranked 10th in the nation in total offense at 289.9 yards per game.
He was also accomplished in the classroom during his time at SCSU as he was a two-time College Division Academic All-America selection. Heckendorf was also named the 2003 National Football Foundation / College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete, and was the NCAA Division II Men's Winner of the Woody Hayes Award that same season.