"I am very excited to have Bob (Heffner) on this staff," head coach Ron Zook said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge to this position. He has coached many places and at many different levels. He has been an offensive coordinator and has the experience of calling plays at the Division I level. Bob has had the opportunity to coach in the CFL, along with his more than 20 years in the college game. Bob and Mike Locksley (Illinois offensive coordinator) have a history from their time at Maryland, which helps with chemistry of this coaching staff."
Heffner just completed his eighth season at Lafayette College (2001-04, 1993-95, 1988-89), where he coached two Patriot League championship teams in 1988 and 1994. In 2002, his offensive line finished second in the league in passing offense and sacks allowed, and in 2001 Lafayette allowed only 11 sacks, five better than any other league member. In between stints at Lafayette College, Heffner was offensive coordinator for the University of Maryland. In his first season as coordinator his team posted the 10th-highest scoring average in school history. The Terps ranked first in the ACC in rushing yards, 12th in the nation, while allowing a conference-low 11 sacks. UM also led the ACC in turnover margin, while showing significant improvement in total offense numbers that went from last in the league to fourth.
Heffner will be no stranger to the state of Illinois, after serving as offensive line coach at both Northern Illinois (1996) and Illinois State (1981-87). He is a 1979 graduate of Temple University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in education. He was a three-year letter-winner on offensive line, where his teams made two bowl appearances. Heffner and his wife, Nancy, have three daughters, Katie, Molly and Shelby.
HEFFNER'S COACHING EXPERIENCE
2002-04 Lafayette College (associate head coach/offensive line)
2001 Lafayette College (assistant head coach/offensive line)
1999-2000 University of Maryland (offensive coordinator/offensive line)
1997-98 University of Maryland (offensive line)
1996 Northern Illinois (offensive line)
1993-95 Lafayette College (offensive coordinator/offensive line)
1993 Tampa Bay Storm, arena league (offensive
coordinator/director of player personnel)
1990-92 British Columbia Lions, CFL (offensive line/running backs)
1988-89 Lafayette College (offensive line)
1982-87 Illinois State (offensive line)
1981 Illinois State (interior defensive line)
1979 Temple University (graduate assistant)
Story from the U of I press release.