Following a season in which he led the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor teams all to top-two finishes, including a women’s indoor team title, Northwestern State track and field head coach Mike Heimerman was rewarded with a new four-year contract extension, director of athletics Kevin Bostian announced Monday.
The contract runs through the 2027 season.
“Coach Mike Heimerman has been a constant in the Northwestern State track and field program for more than a quarter century,” Bostian said. “In that time, he has helped mold the program into one that constantly competes for championships while developing our student-athletes in the other disciplines that matter – in the classroom and in our community.
“His steady leadership has allowed our program to flourish in the way he learned from his predecessor, Leon Johnson. Maintaining that continuity within the program starts with keeping coach Heimerman in his place for the foreseeable future, which we have done with this contract extension. We look forward to the continued success with him atop our track and field program.”
Heimerman is coming off a season in which he was named the Southland Conference Indoor Women’s Coach of the Year, leading the women to its first indoor title in program history.
Among his stars on his team was the record-breaking freshman Sanaria Butler, who was named the women’s indoor freshman of the year and women’s outdoor player of the year.
His specialty, though, is the throws, and he was a huge part of the success for the Gumbs twins, Diamante and Djimon. In the 2022 outdoor season, Djimon Gumbs reached the nationals in both the discus and the shot put.
Djimon Gumbs has collected three gold medals during his two seasons and the podium two other times. Diamante Gumbs collected the gold in the discus in 2023.
The throws coach since 1997, Heimerman has supervised 13 All-American throwers, including discus national champion Trecey Rew.
“I am thankful for Dr. Jones and Kevin Bostian giving me a four-year contract,” Heimerman said. “They believe in my ability as the head coach to steward the men’s and women’s programs. I am very happy and I would like to end my career here at my alma mater.
“Not too many people can say that they stayed at one place for their entire career. I am thankful that they have faith in my abilities to keep leading the program.”
During his time as either the head coach or throws coach at NSU, he has coached a pair of national champions and 32 All-Americans. Zach Beard was a second team All-American during the indoor season in 2023.
Under his tutelage, NSU finished in second place in the women’s indoor before collecting team title No. 1 in February. In the outdoor, the men finished runner-up for the second consecutive season after not finishing that high in the team standings since winning the title in 2002.
The women also finished runner-up in the outdoor in 2023 and the Lady Demons have finished in the top three in the team standings every year since 2014.
Overall, the men and women have a combined 18 top-three finishes at the SLC Indoor and Outdoor Championships since 2013.
CUTLINE: After leading the women’s indoor track team to its first team title and three more top-two finishes in the indoor and outdoor seasons, Mike Heimerman received a contract extension from Northwestern State.
CREDIT: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services