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Mark Hendrickson
Position: Head Coach
Phone: (309) 298-1515
Email: mm-hendrickson@wiu.edu
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Hendrickson Photos
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Hendrickson Videos

Head coach Mark Hendrickson enters his third year as head football coach and 14th overall in the Leatherneck Football program. Hendrickson took over following 11 years as offensive coordinator and 10 seasons as assistant head coach. He served as acting head coach for parts of the 2008 and 2009 seasons. During his tenure, Western Illinois continues to build on its reputation of athletic and academic success.

Hendrickson has helped produce ten 1,000-yard rushers and three of the program's four 1,000-yard receivers. Twenty-five Missouri Valley Football Conference game, season and career records have been set with Hendrickson in charge, and five years Western had a finalist for the Walter Payton Award. He was voted as runner-up for the 2010 Eddie Robinson Award, given to the national 'Coach of the Year'.

In that 13-year span, Western won a postseason game in three of the four times qualifying for the NCAA Division I playoffs (2002, 2003 and 2010). With Hendrickson in charge of the offense and as head coach, four players have won five Missouri Valley Football Conference 'Offensive Player of the Year' awards (Charles Tharp in 2000; Russ Michna in 2002 and 2003; Herb Donaldson in 2008; Matt Barr in 2010). Kyle Glazier was named the MVFC 'Defensive Player of the Year' during Hendrickson's first full year as head coach in 2010.

Success on the field also leads to Western producing at least one All-American in 41 of the program's last 43 years. Since joining the program, Hendrickson and the Leathernecks own a .640 winning percentage at Hanson Field, including an undefeated 6-0 mark in 2010.

While in the classroom, the program turned in a record 2.98 cumulative GPA during the spring 2010 semester. For the third time in the last four years, Western landed both student-athletes nominated on the FCS Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team, Jimmy Holtschlag and Kevin Palermo in 2011. Since 2004, Western can boast of four Academic All-Americans, including three First Team selections - most recently Glazier in 2010. What's even more impressive is in the MVFC history only six players have been named 'Player of the Year' and First Team Academic All-Conference. Western accounts for four of the six and all during Hendrickson's time - Michna, Donaldson, Barr and Glazier.

Western staged the best turnaround in MVFC history during the 2010 season winning seven more games than the year prior, including a road playoff game at Coastal Carolina. The Leathernecks also set a national first that year at the Sports Network awards banquet. For the first time ever, a FCS program finished in the top two voting in all three major national awards - the Walter Payton Award (Barr/Offensive Player of the Year), Buck Buchanan Award (Glazier/Defensive Player of the Year) and Eddie Robinson Award (Hendrickson/Coach of the year).

The offense set new standards in 2010 for passing yards (3,367) and total yards (5,713) while ranking fourth all-time in scoring offense. Hendrickson's 2001 offense still owns the top passing mark in program history (285.5 ypg), while two other squads hold modern-era records: 2003 scoring offense (36.3 ppg) and 2007 rushing offense (251.5 ypg).

Hendrickson served as the acting head coach in parts of two seasons (2008 and 2009). The Leathernecks started the 2008 campaign out on a high note, posting a 5-2 record under Hendrickson and ranking as high as 12th in the national polls.

That year saw Donaldson become the all-time leading rusher in both Western Illinois and MVFC history, leading all of Division I in both rushing and scoring. Donaldson became Western Illinois' first offensive player to be named consensus All-American since 1997.

In 2005, Travis Glasford ended his four-year starting career as the first player in Leatherneck history to rush for 4,000 yards. Along the way, wide receiver Reggie Gray, another four-year starter, amassed more receptions and more receiving yards than any other Western Illinois player. The pair became just the second set of teammates in Valley Football history to end their careers among the league's 'Top 10' leaders in all-purpose yardage.


Hendrickson, who also coaches punters and kickers, developed Mike Scifres into just the second player at that time in Western history to earn three First Team All-Conference honors. Scifres averaged a conference-record 43.5 yards per punt during his career, garnered consensus All-American honors as a senior, and was the first punter taken in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Placekicker Justin Langan twice earned First Team All-America honors, setting a Division I FCS record for most points scored in a season by a kicker (116 in 2002). Langan became Western's all-time leading scorer and set program records for most career field goals and most career extra points. In 2007, Taylor Rowan set a WIU record with 1.73 field goals per game, and converted more 50-yard field goals (6) than any other Division I kicker. Rowan's career included a new FCS record of 129 consecutive extra points.

His collegiate coaching career began in 1983 as an assistant at Georgia Tech under legendary coach Bill Curry. He worked with the running backs and wide receivers from 1983-86. From 1987-89 he worked as the assistant line coach and special teams coordinator under coach Bobby Ross. During his final two years in Atlanta (1990-91) he served as tight ends coach and again coordinated all special teams play. Hendrickson earned a National Championship ring in 1990 with the Yellow Jackets.


He moved back to his native Iowa in 1992 working for a season at the University of Iowa under another Hall of Fame coach, Hayden Fry. Following a one-year stint at Southeast Missouri State as the offensive coordinator, Hendrickson returned to Iowa City. He held the title of special teams coordinator during his tenure. He coached Nick Gallery, the Big Ten Conference's leading punter in 1995 and 1996. He also instructed 1995 All-Big Ten selection at tight end Scott Slutzker, a third-round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts. In 1997 Hendrickson coached consensus All-American and NFL standout Tim Dwight (national leader in punt return average).


During his time between the Yellow Jackets and Hawkeyes, Hendrickson coached in six bowl games - including the 1991 Florida Citrus Bowl which Tech won to clinch the National Championship. Hendrickson went 5-1 in his bowl appearances, including wins in the: All-American (1985), Florida Citrus (1991), Aloha (1991), Sun (1995) and Alamo (1996) Bowl games.


Originally form Richland, Iowa, Hendrickson attended Pekin (Iowa) High School and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with honors in 1980. He earned his master's degree from UNI in 1982. Hendrickson was a four-year letterwinner at wide receiver for the Panthers.


Hendrickson and his wife Ericka have two sons, Myers and Davis, and a daughter, Georgie. Myers is recent graduate of Western Illinois University and past football letterwinner, Davis is a member of the University of Illinois Baseball team and Georgie attends Macomb High School.



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