Mickey Heinecken spent 28 years as the head coach of the football program at Middlebury (1973–2000), while also serving as the men’s tennis coach for 16 years. On the gridiron, Heinecken amassed 126 victories and a .567 winning percentage, earning seven different one-loss seasons. His victory total is eighth all-time among New England Division III coaches.
The Panthers earned back-to-back 7-1 marks in 1976 and 1977, before the 1981 squad accomplished the same feat. That season, Middlebury was at the top of the nation’s rankings in total offense, rushing offense, scoring offense, and rush defense. In 1983, the Panthers defeated the #1 team in the nation, Union, who went on to play in the NCAA Championship game.
Heinecken was recognized as the New England Coach of the Year in 1977 and 1981 and was the recipient of the George C. Carens Award for contributions to New England football from the New England Football Writers.
He was instrumental in bringing faculty status to the coaching staff and has enthusiastically maintained his ties to the Middlebury community, by chairing the Vermont Chapter of the National Football Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity.
He is also a member of the 2016 University of Delaware Hall of Fame class.