The Northwestern State track and field teams again pushed limits with three All-Americans, an NCAA Indoors championship individual title and an NCAA Outdoors silver medal in 2019.
For the Demons’ and Lady Demons’ consistency and staying power on the Southland Conference, regional and national stages, head coach Mike Heimerman received a three-year contract extension approved by the Louisiana Board of Supervisors.
Heimerman led a program in which Jasmyn Steels won the Indoor long jump national championship, garnered a silver medal at NCAA Outdoors in the same event and pole vaulter Reagan Darbonne took home Outdoor All-American honors.
Steels Indoor national title is the first by a female Southland Conference member in league history Her Outdoors silver scored the NSU women eight points to finish in a tie for 35th in the nation.
“Mike took the firm foundation that had been established by long-time, revered head coach Leon Johnson and in the past five years, has put NSU in the ‘championship discussion’ for every indoor and outdoor Southland Conference championship,” said NSU director of athletics Greg Burke. “He has hired good assistants who have recruited tirelessly, and the result is evident in the competitive results.
“This contract – the first for a head track coach at NSU and one of only a few in the Southland Conference – is well deserved based on the individual and team accolades that have been earned by the track and field program. Mike’s longevity and loyalty to NSU is also commendable and further validates him being rewarded in this manner.”
In his sixth season as the overall head coach and 11th as the women’s head coach, Heimerman’s programs sent 14 student-athletes to the NCAA East Regionals, the second-most in the state to LSU.
NSU sent a program-record 20 participants to the NCAA East Regionals in 2018 followed by another program record with nine student-athletes competing in five NCAA Outdoor Championship events.
Heimerman, with the help of assistants like Adam Pennington and Tyron Stewart and others, has sent at least 11 competitors to the NCAA East Regionals in his six seasons as the overall head coach. NSU was represented at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in five of those six seasons.
The Demons and Lady Demons have had success on the Southland Conference stage as well.
The men and women have combined for seven top-three finishes in the SLC Outdoor Championships and three top-three finishes at the SLC Indoor Championships in his six seasons as overall head coach.
Heimerman has won three co-coach of the year honors from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services