Goshen set to hire former St. Joe QB with decade of college coaching experience as new football coach

GOSHEN, Ind. -- Goshen High School announced on Wednesday evening the coming hiring of Joseph Hecklinski as the next head football coach of the Redhawks.

"Coach Hecklinski has dedicated ten years of his coaching career at the college level, with institutions such as Manchester University, Marian University, Butler University, and most recently, Ball State University," said Goshen High School Athletic Director Jim Pickard. "Throughout his coaching tenure, he has nurtured the talent of quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs, equipping them with the skills necessary to excel on the field."

Hecklinski was the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cardinals in 2023, which was his fifth season coaching at Ball State. Pickard says Hecklinski demonstrated his commitment to building a strong and competitive team while on the Ball State staff.

"His skills in talent acquisition and development will undoubtedly contribute to the continued success of the Goshen football program," said Pickard.

The new Goshen play caller is a graduate of South Bend Saint Joseph High School and knows what it feels like to coach and compete in big moments.

He was part of the Marian University team that won the NAIA national championship in 2012 and became the team captain and starting quarterback as a senior in 2013.

"His successful playing career provides him with a unique perspective and understanding of the game, which will undoubtedly resonate with the Goshen student-athletes under his guidance," said Pickard. 

In 2015, Hecklinski returned to his alma mater as a running backs coach and helped the Knights win the NAIA national championship that season.

According to the South Bend Tribune, he is the third Hecklinski to come through Ball State as a coach. His uncle, Ron Hecklinski, is now the Mishawaka High School head coach, and was an assistant men’s basketball coach back in the early 1990s. He was also part of the 1990 Ball State team that reached the Sweet 16.

Joseph's cousin, Jeff Hecklinski, was the wide receivers coach for Ball State from 2004-08 under former University of Michigan coach Brady Hoke. 

"Coach Hecklinski, his wife Sarah, and their newborn son are excited to return to Northern Indiana. Their commitment to this area, coupled with Coach Hecklinski's passion and expertise, signals the beginning of an exhilarating new chapter for Goshen football," Pickard said.

"The entire Goshen High School community is eager to welcome Coach Hecklinski and looks forward to the positive impact he will undoubtedly have on the Goshen RedHawks football program. Please join us in extending a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Coach Joseph Hecklinski."

The hire is pending school board approval at the Jan. 8 meeting.  

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