By DENISE SEYFER
Marc Heidorf, the new athletic director at Mount Mary University, brings his skills of coaching and sports communication to the campus. He commits himself to the goal of recruiting student athletes and expanding Mount Mary’s competiveness in NCAA Division III.
The job attracted him because of the university’s challenges in regards to recruitment, expansion and retention. Heidorf faced similar problems when working at Alverno College in 2007 as the assistant women’s basketball coach and sports information director.
“Alverno College is also an all-women’s college,” Heidorf said. “There are a lot of similarities where we were then to where Mount Mary is now. Five or six years later Brad [Duckworth], Alverno athletic director and basketball coach, has got that sports department turned around. Basketball, specifically, has set school records for wins and full rosters. I was there on the ground floor when we started off.”
Heidorf is originally from Wisconsin. He graduated from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1998 with a B.S. in radio, TV and film communications with a coaching minor. He continued his education by attaining a master’s degree from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in sports administration and worked as the graduate assistant coach of the women’s basketball team.
After his single year at Alverno, Heidorf went on to become the head coach of women’s basketball at Lawrence University from 2008 to 2010. He continued his coaching career when he accepted a job at the University of Maine-Presque Isle, where he was not only the women’s basketball coach, but also the sports information director until he resigned to come to Mount Mary this past summer.
Dr. Thomas Troast, Mount Mary tennis coach, sees promise in hiring Heidorf.
“He brings lots of energy [to Mount Mary],” Troast said. “It’s been positive because he thinks in the long-term. He’s strategic.”
Tim Edwards, volunteer assistant coach of Mount Mary softball and father of Mount Mary volleyball player, Katie Edwards, stated Heidorf is an asset because he is from Milwaukee and is familiar with the schools. He also brings energy to the sports programs.
Heidorf helps the coaches with recruiting by taking prospective student athletes on tours and assists with follow-up until a student makes a decision whether to attend Mount Mary.
Heidorf welcomes the challenges of his new position as the university’s athletic director. He is committed to working hard to overcome problems such as athletic director and coach turnover, which have hampered change and winning sports’ seasons in the past.
“There needs to be stability and continuity,” Heidorf said.
Another problem resides in recruiting. Heidorf wants to encourage quality athletes to come to the campus as he rebuilds Mount Mary’s sports programs.
There is also the need for more active recruiting by coaches and coaching staff, according to Heidorf. Many of the coaches work part-time and need help.
“If they [the coaches] can get kids here, I can spend the day with them,” Heirdorf said. “That’s something I can do to help.”
As Mount Mary’s athletics improve its team participation, team support and coach retention, Heidorf believes community support will follow, resulting in increased donations to enhance facilities, such as Mount Mary’s tennis courts.
“I can see with a lot of work where we can take Mount Mary to where Alverno is,” Heidorf said. “There is a place for sports at all-women’s colleges. You can be successful. It can be done.”