Canadian Football League

Friday, January 21, 2005

Former B.C. Lion Coach Joins Illinois

Lafayette associate head coach Bob Heffner has accepted a position on Ron Zook's coaching staff at the University of Illinois.
Heffner had just completed the fourth season of his third stint at Lafayette and third year as the program's associate head coach. He was part of Patriot League championship teams in 1988, 1994 and 2004 as a member of the Leopards' staff.
At Illinois, Heffner is expected to be the offensive line coach and work under offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. Locksley and Heffner spent time on the same staff at Maryland prior to Heffner's most recent stint at Lafayette.
Heffner's work with the offensive line helped Lafayette develop one of the most proficient offenses in the Patriot League in recent years. In 2004, the Leopards averaged 212.8 rushing yards per game, ranking second in the league and 21st nationally. Under Heffner, the Leopard front five paved the way for Joe McCourt to become Lafayette's second all-time leading rusher with 4,474 yards. Lafayette led the Patriot League in total offense in 2003 with 404.9 yards per game, while the 2002 squad led the league in passing offense and sacks allowed. The 2001 team also ranked first in the Patriot League in sacks allowed.

Heffner mentored five All-Patriot League linemen during his tenure at Lafayette.
Prior to his most recent stop at Lafayette, Heffner spent four years at Maryland, including two as the Terrapins' offensive coordinator. In his first season as the coordinator, Maryland ranked first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 12th nationally in rushing yards per game (234.1), and tailback LaMont Jordan earned second-team All-America honors after finishing fifth in the country in rushing.
Between his coaching stops at Lafayette, Heffner spent four years in the professional ranks. He served as the director of player personnel and offensive coordinator for the Arena League champion Tampa Bay Storm in 1993 and as offensive line and running backs coach for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. During his time with British Columbia, the Lions' Doug Flutie was voted the CFL's Most Valuable Player after setting the league record for passing yards in a season, and Jim Mills was named the league's Most Valuable Offensive Lineman in 1990 and 1991.


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