If you’ve been around Northwestern Football in the last 13 years, you probably know the tight ends coach pretty well.

Bob Heffner has been coaching football to some extent for around 43 years. It was announced on Monday evening that he will be retiring from coaching after being at Northwestern since 2009.

“Coach Heffner had a profound impact on myself, our program and the game of football in over 40 years of coaching,” said head coach Pat Fitzgerald. “Countless student-athletes, coaches and staff members have benefited from his steadfast dedication, compassion and mentorship as both a coach and a person. We are so grateful to his wife, Nancy, and their family for sharing him with us these last 13 years and we wish them nothing but happiness as they transition towards a new chapter.

Heffner started coaching in 1979 after becoming a graduate assistant at his alma mater Temple University. He played for the Owls as an offensive guard in the late 1970’s.

After that, he joined Illinois State as the defensive line coach in 1981 where he would stay for 7 years. The other stops in his coaching career during the 80s and 90s included Lafayette as an O-line coach (1988-1989), British Columbia as an O-line/ RB coach (1990-1992), Tampa Bay Storm as the Director of Player Personnel/OC (1993), a return to Lafayette as the OC/ O-line coach (1993-1995), Northern Illinois O-line coach (1996), and Maryland’s OC/ TE coach/ OT coach (1997-1999).

Heffner would have one more stint with Lafayette from 2001 to 2008 as an O-line coach before joining Pat Fitzgerald’s staff in 2009 as the TE coach.

Northwestern will surely miss this Wildcats coaching legend.