BUCKHANNON – West Virginia Wesleyan's Athletic Department and head volleyball coach Nancy Wheeler is pleased to announce the hiring of Jennifer Hefner as the new assistant volleyball coach.
Hefner brings to Wesleyan over 12 years of coaching experience and nearly 20 years of experience in the sport of volleyball.
"I got my start as the head volleyball and softball Coach at Bridgeport High School," remarked Hefner. "We relocated to Morgantown where I was the head coach at Trinity High School. I became involved at Pennhighlands Volleyball Club where I coached in the off season."
Hefner was also the assistant varsity coach at Morgantown when they earned their first-ever state tournament appearance in school history.
She was also an assistant with Wheeler for one year at Penn State-Fayette.
Hefner is currently a coach with the Mountain Rage Volleyball Club.
She is also no stranger to Wheeler as the two spent time coaching together at different stops in their careers. The two first met at the Pennhighlands Volleyball Club prior to the two working together at Penn State-Fayette.
"I would have to characterize my relationship with coach Wheeler as crazy volleyball fanatics," joked Hefner. "I first met her about eight years ago through Pennhighlands Volleyball Club when she was there coaching as well as being the club director. Coach Wheeler has been such a mentor to me. I think we have a very trusting relationship of each other, we balance each other well on the court because we have very similar styles in coaching. We are both extremely passionate about the sport and mentoring kids not only on the court but off the court in their academic lives as well."
Coach Wheeler is excited to have Hefner at her side for the upcoming volleyball season.
"I am very pleased to have coach Hefner as my assistant coach at Wesleyan," Wheeler remarked. "I love her passion and enthusiasm for the sport. She is an experienced player and coach. She is very involved with Mountain Rage Volleyball Club as a coach and was a former assistant of mine for one season at Penn State-Fayette. I am thrilled that she is such a committed coach to our program and can't wait to get started in the gym with her."
Local sports fans may remember her name as Hefner was a stand-out athlete at neighboring Alderson-Broaddus College (now University).
The native of Shady Spring, W. Va. was a two-year member of the A-B volleyball team and a four-year member of the softball team. She was the WVIAC Co-Player of the Year her junior season and was a three-time all-conference performer and a three-time all-tournament performer. As a junior, he softball team finished the year regular season undefeated.
She was inducted into the Alderson-Broaddus Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Radiography from A-B in 2000 and graduated from WVUH School of Radiologic Technology in 2000 as well.
Hefner believes her volleyball experiences as a student-athlete and a player will be beneficial to her as she starts her new career at Wesleyan.
"I think because of my experience as a successful collegiate athlete/student and as a coach, I have an understanding of what it takes to be a successful student/athlete," Hefner explained. "I bring a positive approach to the sport, I love to encourage and praise athletes. And to balance that I also bring the aspect of discipline with me. I tell student-athletes that they get what they work for, and I whole-heartedly believe that. I have some life experiences throughout my time in school, sports, job, etc. that help me guide student-athletes through those ups and downs. I always tell my athletes that sports give them an extra outlet for stress, etc."
Hefner is married to Chad Hefner, also a graduate of A-B and former baseball player and head coach of the Battlers.
The couple resides in Bridgeport with their two daughters – Payton (age 16) and Shea (age 14), both who are student-athletes at Bridgeport High School.
Hefner can be reached in the volleyball office at 304-473-8219 or by email at Hefner.firstname.lastname@example.org.