MACOMB, Ill. - A national search is underway for a head football coach at Western Illinois University to continue the institution's proud football tradition. It was announced last week that Mark Hendrickson would not return as head coach of the Leathernecks.
Hendrickson ended his tenure with a record of 18-32 in five seasons as head coach, which included parts of the 2008 season (seven games) and the 2009 season (eight games) as the acting head coach.
"For the past 14 years Macomb has been our home. My family and I feel blessed to be a part of this special community and are grateful for the many friendships we have developed here," said Hendrickson. "I am thankful to have been surrounded by so many outstanding players, coaches and athletic staff. I have many great memories of my time spent at Western Illinois University, including a 2010 playoff victory. I am proud of what we achieved on and off the field. We have a great group of young men here. I am confident they will continue to excel, and I wish them all the best."
Hendrickson's tenure at Western began in 1999 when he was hired as offensive coordinator, and he spent 11 years in that role until he took over as head coach. For 10 years he also held the title of assistant head coach. In December 2009 he was officially named the program's head coach.
Western advanced to the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division I playoffs (program's ninth FCS playoff appearance all-time), finishing 8-5. That season Hendrickson was runner-up for the Eddie Robinson Award (National Coach of the Year). However, the last two years Western went a combined 5-17 overall and 2-14 in Missouri Valley Football Conference play.
"During his time as head coach, Mark Hendrickson did everything right. He helped raise the academic standards within the football program, was compliant in following NCAA rules and regulations, and improved the discipline of our student-athletes both on and off the field," said University Assistant Vice President for Student Services/Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Van Alstine. "He has a high degree of personal and professional integrity. I want to thank Mark for all he did to improve the football program during his 14 years at Western Illinois University. We wish him and his family all the best."