ShareThis Page

Kiski Area hires Heavner as new football coach

| Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

Dave Heavner, who sports WPIAL and PIAA championships on his resume as a defensive coordinator, returned to the head coaching ranks when he was hired to lead the Class AAAA Kiski Area program Wednesday night.

Kiski Area School Board approved Heavner by an 8-0 vote. He received a one-year contract for $9,474.

Heavner, 40, of Sarver, helped guide Class AAA Franklin Regional to a state title in 2005. Before Kiski Area, his only head coaching stop was at Class AA Burrell in 2006-07, when the Bucs compiled an 8-10 record and missed the WPIAL playoffs in both seasons.

Kiski Area, which was a WPIAL power in the 1960s and '70s, has struggled for much of the past two decades and earned its last playoff win in 1990. The Cavaliers finished 1-8 this past year under Troy Wilson, whose position was opened after three seasons.

"I look forward to a challenge," Heavner said. "Kiski is a great community and great school district. They have great athletic facilities. I think they have the opportunity to do something special. I'll work as hard as I can to make Kiski Area succeed."

Heavner, who has a doctorate in education, is a history teacher at Gateway High School.

Kiski Area athletic director Ryan Berberich said the district received 28 applications for the position.

"He had a good resume, with WPIAL and state championships," Berberich said. "He also has a doctorate in education. He'll make a good impression with our student-athletes. What better role model could they have to look up to?"

Heavner was a standout fullback and linebacker at Valley before graduating in 1989. He went on to play at Division II Lock Haven University.

He started his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Valley, in 1993. He's also been an assistant at Burrell, Butler, Fox Chapel, Gateway and Highlands.

In 1995 when Burrell won the WPIAL Class AA title, Heavner served as varsity scout for the Bucs under coach Tom Henderson. Heavner spent the past two seasons as a defensive assistant at Highlands.

Heavner said his first task is putting together a coaching staff. He hopes to have one in place by mid-February.

He added that he wants to create a strong bond throughout the school district in football, from the varsity to the youth levels. He plans to meet with his varsity players next week and the younger players and boosters soon after. Focusing on weightlifting and conditioning will be the next step.

"I want to start the offseason program as soon as possible and preparing our bodies for the upcoming season," Heavner said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.