NAPPANEE – NorthWood didn’t have to look far to find its next girls basketball head coach. It just had to look up.
Mark Heeter has seen nearly all of what the Black Swish program has done up close in recent years. Now, he’ll get a better seat.
Heeter is set to take over the NorthWood girls basketball head coaching position pending Wanee School Board approval. The longtime volleyball assistant coach for NorthWood has also been a radio broadcaster for the girls basketball program as well as a program assistant in the developmental ranks. Heeter will now get a chance to get back into the head coaching role that once had Heeter on top of the basketball world.
Triton fans know Mark Heeter’s name well as he guided the Trojans to back-to-back girls basketball state championship in 2000 and 2001. He had quite a run in 14 years with Triton, comprising a 208-102 record on the sidelines at the Trojan Trench, including the school’s only two state titles in girls hoops.
More recently, Heeter has been an assistant coach for Hilary Laidig and the Red Slam volleyball program at NorthWood, where the team most recently were ranked as high as No. 3 in Class 3-A and advanced to the regional finals. Heeter oversaw both of his daughters, Kaci and Alli, as the two still hold six of the all-time records in volleyball.
Heeter will take one of the top job openings in the state after the team made its historic run to a Class 3-A state championship this past season. Adam Yoder guided the Black Swish to its first title since 1999 and did so in impressive fashion, holding its seven tournament opponents to just 32.6 points per game. The 37-29 win over Salem in the championship game gave the school its third state championship in any sport.
Yoder, who hadn’t won even a sectional in his previous five years as head coach, resigned on March 13 after winning 109 games overall in six seasons. His 2019-20 team swept the Northern Lakes Conference for a title before winning sectional, regional and semi-state titles. He won two NLC titles overall.
Heeter will become only the third head coach for NorthWood girls basketball, with Yoder and Steve Neff the only other two. The Hall of Famer Neff won 653 games in 37 years with NorthWood, retiring at the time in 2014 as the winningest coach in girls basketball history in the state. Neff is currently third all-time in girls basketball wins.