A former Xavier great and a teacher & coach at Xavier High School
Mike Heideman, a Xavier grad and a former teacher and coach at Xavier before moving on to the college ranks, passed away on Saturday, June 30, 2018. PHOTOS
He was inducted into the Xavier Alumni Hall of Fame on Friday morning, Oct. 3 2014. The ceremony was held in the Fine Arts Center at Xavier. He was also inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in Oct. 2012 in Middleton.
The 70-year-old coached and taught at Xavier High School years ago. Before retiring a few years ago, he was an assistant principal at St. Mary Central High School, now called St. Mary Catholic High School, after returning to the Valley in 2009 to also be the athletic director at that school. Heideman was the head boys basketball coach, the head football coach, and a phy ed teacher at Xavier in Appleton from 1974 to 1982.
His 8-year basketball record at Xavier was 147 wins and 42 losses, a winning percentage of .777 -- which ranked him second-best in the all-time boys basketball coaching marks during the first 50 years of Xavier Basketball. The only individual with a better percentage mark was the late Torchy Clark, who was .889 with a W-L mark of 208-26 in his 10 seasons.
The 4th boys basketball coach in school history, Heideman's basketball teams also won 3 conference championships and made 6 straight trips to the state tournament (1976 thru 1981) in his 8 seasons... and... in 1978 his Hawks advanced to the state championship game and finished 2nd. His XHS team was 3rd in the '77 state tourney, and twice his troops came back with the 4th place finish from the state tourney in Milwaukee. His 4-year stint as the football coach was from 1978 to 1981, and his teams were 9-27 as he was unable to carry his basketball magic over to the Hawks' football program.
A 1966 graduate of Xavier, Heideman was one of the top players in the Coach Clark era, and Heideman ranks in the top 50 all-time individual career scoring leaders in the history of Xavier Basketball with a 13.1-points-per-game average in his prep playing days. After leaving Xavier, he then moved into the collegiate coaching ranks, and was the head coach or an assistant coach at various schools during the past 20-plus years -- including St. Norbert College in De Pere, UW-Green Bay, Valparaiso and Washington State.
During the 2008-09 school year, Heideman completed his sixth season at Washington State University and third season as the director of player development and operations. Heideman came to WSU with former head coach Dick Bennett in 2003, whom he was an assistant to at Wisconsin-Green Bay from 1986-95.
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At WSU, Heideman served as an assistant coach from 2003-06 and as the director of player development/operations from 2006-09. At WSU his duties included serving as the academic liaison and organizing community events, as well as day-to-day and game day coaching duties. In his stint as director of player development/operations, 10 Cougars earned Pacific-10 First Team All-Academic honors, two earning Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
During his time as an assistant at UWGB, Heideman coordinated all recruiting efforts and played an integral role in UWGB capturing the Mid-Continent Conference regular season title in 1992 and 1994. During that era, Heideman helped guide the Phoenix to Mid-Continent Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament automatic berths in 1991 and 1994. He also helped lead UWGB to a Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1995.
Following the 1994-95 season, Heideman succeeded Bennett as the head coach of the Phoenix and found immediate success. He led UWGB to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular season championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament during his first season (1995-96). His team was ranked as high as 22nd by the Associated Press and 23rd in the USA Today/CNN Coaches poll.
Heideman's efforts earned him the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year in 1996. He was also selected as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 11 Coach of the Year and Wisconsin Collegiate Coach of the Year in 1996.
During his seven seasons at UWGB, Heideman compiled a record of 110-95. He spent one season as an assistant at Valparaiso before joining the Cougars' staff in April 2003.
Prior to UWGB, Heideman was the head men's basketball coach at St. Norbert College (1982-86), an NCAA Division III school in De Pere, Wis. He was selected NABC Division III Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1984 and received the Contribution to Basketball Award for the State of Wisconsin in 1986 . His 66-25 mark at St. Norbert's gives him a career record of 176-120 in 11 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
In addition to his collegiate background and his years at Xavier, Heideman coached at Augusta High School in Augusta, Wisconsin. In 11 seasons, Heideman compiled a prep record of 158-52.
He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in physical education from Wisconsin-LaCrosse. He and his wife Sally have two sons, David and Timothy.