The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

January 15, 2013

Heater officially named Marshall ‘D’ coordinator

HUNTINGTON — Finally, Marshall is turning up the Heat.

Thundering Herd head coach Doc Holliday announced Monday that Chuck Heater, Temple’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, has accepted the same position at Marshall.

The impending move was reported by multiple outlets, including The Register-Herald, last week before Monday’s official announcement.

Heater also will coach the secondary, Holliday said.

“Chuck is one of the most respected coaches in the nation and will bring with him a proven track record of success,” Holliday said. “He has helped win three national titles and I’m tremendously excited for him to join our staff.”

Heater, a 37-year veteran in the college coaching ranks, also served as the co-defensive coordinator at Florida in 2010 and assistant defensive coordinator in 2008 and 2009. He helped win two national titles during his six-year stint in Gainesville, where he coached alongside Holliday from 2005-07, and another in 1988 while serving as the secondary coach at Notre Dame.

“He’s one of the best teachers. I used to just sit in his meetings and watch him coach,” said Urban Meyer, who mentored Heater at Florida and is now the head coach at Ohio State. “Coach Heater has a tendency of making some players out of nonplayers.”

In 2012, Heater’s unit produced the Big East’s Rookie of the Year in Owls linebacker Tyler Matakevich, who became the first freshman in school history to record at least 100 tackles (101). The Owls also ranked third in the league in sacks with 2.27 per contest.

The Owls’  defense dominated the Mid-American Conference in 2011, leading all teams in five categories while ranking No. 3 nationally in scoring defense behind national champion Alabama and LSU, which lost to the Crimson Tide in the title game.

“It is a great day for me personally to get reunited with Coach Holliday,” said Heater. “I consider Doc one of the truly outstanding coaches in this profession and am excited to re-connect with my West Virginia roots. I look forward to my contribution in returning Marshall to football greatness.”

Heater’s coaching stops have come at Florida, Colorado, Colorado State, Northern Arizona, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Temple, Toledo, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The defensive coordinator at Florida in 2010, he has coached in 25 bowl games, including eight on New Year’s Day, and the 2007 and 2009 BCS national championship games, where Florida captured two national titles, and the 1988 national championship with Notre Dame. He has twice been nominated for the Frank Broyles Award (2006, 2011) as the nation’s top assistant coach.

“Chuck Heater is a proven winner at every stop he’s been,” said Boston College head coach Steve Addazio, who was the head coach at Temple during Heater’s tenure there. “He’s been a part of three national championships as a position coach and as a coordinator. He’s one of the most respected football coaches in the country. He brings a tremendous amount of energy and passion and has a unique ability to get his players to play really hard. As great a football coach as he is, he’s even a better person. He’s a true family man who will treat every player like he is his son.”

Born in Weston and raised in Tiffin, Ohio, Heater received his bachelor’s degree in education from Michigan in 1975. A three-year letter winner at running back, Heater earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior and was named honorable mention as a senior. He finished his playing career as UM’s fifth-leading rusher all-time with 1,981 yards on 406 carries (a 4.9-yard-per-carry average).

Heater is married to the former Deborah Dariano. The couple has three children: Emily, Andy and Adam, and a granddaughter, Grace. Emily is married to former Herd assistant coach Sean Cronin. Andy was a defensive tackle at Washington in 2005 and is now an Airborne Army Ranger, while Adam played tight end at UCLA.

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