Heistan steps down as girls coach at Shawnee

April 23, 2013

SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Jeff Heistan coached his older daughters when they played basketball, but he decided not to do it this time around.

Heistan stepped down as the Shawnee girls basketball coach on Monday. He finished his nine years as girls basketball coach with a record of 132-65. The Indians went 10-14 this year, his only record with the girls.

The Indians won their only two Western Buckeye League girls basketball titles under Heistan in 2010 and 2011.

“If you would have told me it would have been possible to win a league championship with the girls when I took over, I’d have said you are crazy,” Heistan said. “We won it twice and to be respected in the league as one of the premier teams was a real honor.”

Prior to his nine years (2005-2013) as the Shawnee girls coach, he was the Shawnee boys basketball coach from 1987 to 2004. The Indians boys won four WBL titles and went to the state semifinals in 2000. Heistan’s boys record was 220-158.

Overall, Heistan has a record of 342-209.

Next season his daughter, Kinsey, will be a freshman at Shawnee. She’ll play basketball and volleyball. Heistan wants to enjoy her time on the court.

“I really would enjoy watching her play,” Heistan said. “I didn’t do that with the other daughters. I coached both of them. I decided it would be much more enjoyable this time to watch her and not focus on trying to win games.”

Heistan coached both Paige and Amber at Shawnee. Amber went on to play basketball at Rollins College and is now a graduate assistant coach at Rollins. Paige played volleyball at Urbana.

“When you’re the head coach you don’t have a lot of opportunity to work one on one with your daughter,” Heistan said. “You’re doing everything for the team.”

Heistan said he will enjoy having his free time, especially in the summer.

His coaching career started as an assistant under Bob Seggerson at Lima Central Catholic from 1981-1983. He was an assistant at Shawnee from 1983-1987.

“The last number of years, ever since 1981, I’ve had to prepare in the summer and think of how to beat the best teams in our area and the style of play you’re going to play,” Heistan said. “The time you spend is almost overwhelming.

“If you want to be successful, it’s a year-round thing. I asked myself, ‘Do I want to spend all this time doing this?’ I love our kids, but I don’t have the energy, time and commitment to that kind of effort.”

Winning the two WBL titles topped his list for the girls. On the boys’ side, his 1999 team reached the regional finals, while the 2000 team made it to state.

“That was a great team and fun team to coach,” Heistan said.

Heistan, a graduate of St. Marys High School and Heidelberg College, will continue with his job at Shawnee as the district’s technology coordinator.

He thanked his coaches, players, officials and media for his successful trek.

Heistan thought doing games on the radio or television might be fun, but he wasn’t ready to commit to that.

“I don’t even want to think about that now,” Heistan said. “I want to step back and see what it’s like to be normal for a while.”