Entering his sixth year at the helm of the Heidelberg University football team is Mike Hallett. Over the course of his brief tenure Hallett has brought a renowned sense of pride to a program that has a decorated history that dates back over 100 years.
In 2009, under Hallett’s guidance, the Berg closed out the year winners of three of its last four outings to stand at 4-6 on the year. Along the way the Berg returned to campus in 64 years en route to securing a D3football.com All-American in Matt Grieves, along with four all-region selections, eight All-OAC performers and a host of academic honorees. Of its eight all-league nods, four were named to the first team, marking the most first team picks since 1991.
In five seasons Hallett boasts an overall record of 25-25 (20-25 OAC), which includes the first winning season since 1997 (2010). In just three years, Hallett has coached 42 All-OAC performers, including 13 first team recipients and four All-Americans. Not to be outdone, nine have picked up Academic All-OAC accolades and five have earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District nods.
On December 16, 2006 Hallett was named the 33rd head coach in the history of the program that dates back to 1892. In his first year he led Heidelberg to an overall record of 4-6 and a 3-6 OAC mark. The Berg opened the year with a 37-26 win over Oberlin College to snap a 36-game skid, and added a 42-20 victory over nationally-ranked Baldwin-Wallace, along with end of the year wins over Wilmington College and Muskingum College.
In Hallett’s inaugural campaign at the Berg the offense ranked in the top-five in the league in 12 different offensive categories and its defense limited its opponent’s offense by nearly 1,000 yards from the previous season. Its defensive line provided a solid foundation that gave up 50 percent less scores on the ground as in 2006. For his efforts in restoring the winning tradition at Heidelberg, Hallett was tabbed the OAC Coach of the Year, as well as the North Region Coach of the Year according to D3football.com.
The 2008 season closed with an overall record of 4-6 and a 3-6 record versus league foes. The year began with a 62-point outburst against Westminster, which ties for ninth all-time in points in a single game. Heidelberg went 3-1 over its last four games, and all three wins came in its final possession of the game.
Hallett has over 18 years of coaching experience, including three as head coach at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky. from 2004-06 and five as an assistant coach at Thomas More as the team's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Hallett began at Thomas More following the 1998 season and helped to bring the Saints offense among the leaders in the nation. Hallett was instrumental in Thomas More’s second appearance in the NCAA Division III Football Championship in 2001, when the team set a new school record for wins with an 11-1 season.
As the team’s offensive coordinator, the Saints finished among the leaders in the NCAA final statistical rankings for rushing offense in four out of five seasons, including back-to-back top-20 finishes. Thomas More boasted the third-best rushing offense in Division III with an average of 301.2 yards per game in 2001 which followed an 18th place finish in 2000 with 233.6 yards per game.
Prior to his stint at Thomas More, Hallett served as the head coach at Wooster High School for the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Prior to Wooster, he was the assistant head coach at Akron Coventry High School from 1994-96. Before taking over the reigns at Akron Coventry, Hallett was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Orrville High School, from 1988-89.
An Orrville, Ohio, native, Hallett was a two-time All-American defensive lineman at Mount Union College and won a national championship in 1993.
Hallett and wife, Sandy, reside in Tiffin with their two children, TC and Ryan.
Follow Coach Hallett on Twitter @coachhallett.