Kirk Heidelberg Inducted 2012 - Class of 1976
The North Toledo neighborhood of Manhattan Boulevard & Brigham, just across from Hamilton Grade School, was the playground of Kirk Heidelberg, Tim Ross, Kenny Robinson, and the Collins boys, Roger and Randy. Whether it was football or basketball, it was these young men that formed the nucleus of a football team that through hard work, training , and perseverance arrived at the practice field of Woodward High School in the Fall of 1972.
Kirk cites Mrs. Kellermen as having such a passion for English that it motivated the other students to learn and to always do their best. The caring attitude of Mr. Hoffman shaped many of Kirk's choices throughout his life. However, Kirk's greatest memories of Woodward were formed by football coach, Sonny Smith. From 1973 through 1975 he left such a positive impression that Kirk would use Sonny's coaching methods as an inspiration for his own coaching career. Kirk says that "Sonny was stern but fair, and his intensity for the game of football energized him as a player. Sonny's presence on and off the field commanded respect and I gravitated to that as a student
athlete. Sonny taught me to respect the teachers, my teammates, and especially the endeavor of football. All lessons that I have tried to apply throughout my life."
Kirk's football career at Woodward culminated with the 1975 season when Woodward won its City League Division. The Polar Bears in their sparkling blue and white uniforms led by quarterback Dave Frankowski took the field at the University of Toledo's Glass Bowl in the 51st Annual Shoe Bowl and battled their cross town rival St. John's High School to a 7 to 7 tie.
Not only did Kirk play center position in Toledo's celebrated Shoe Bowl in1975, Kirk was selected to represent Woodward High School at Buckeye Boys State at Ohio University in Athens.
Kirk would go on to play football at Heidelberg College and graduate from Morehead State in 1983 where he returned the next season as the Varsity Defensive Line Coach and their Junior Varsity Coach. Moving to Kansas University in 1987 to pursue a graduate degree, Kirk worked as the team's Defensive End Coach. Criss-crossing the country improving his skills as a coach, Kirk returned to Toledo as a PE teacher at Toledo Christian in 1992. Sensing an opportunity with the European football league, Kirk went to Germany in 1995 as the Head Coach for the Hamburg Blue Devils and the Cologne Crocodiles. After being named German Football League Coach of the Year twice, Kirk returned to the United States in 2006 with his bride Maria and son Jason, and became Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for the Rockford Illinois' Christian School. It should be noted that Kirk was the most successful football coach in the school's history.
Kirk, who assisted University of Toledo coach's Nick Sabin and Gary Pinkel as Special Team Coordinator from 1990 to 1992, was the recipient of a special honor when he was selected in 2010 as Team USA's Offensive Coordinator.
The following is from BLADE's Sports Writer Ryan Autullo: Two Locals - past and present -will team up this week to take on the world. The past will be represented by Toledo native Kirk Heidelberg and Anthony Wayne senior Andrew Donnal will represent the present at the first football game of TEAM USA vs THE WORLD. The first year event pits 45 of the top American high school seniors against a team of standouts from eight European countries. ... Heidelberg, a 1976 Woodward High School graduate and former University of Toledo assistant Coach will serve as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for USA. Courtesy of the BLADE, January 29, 2010 [Don't forget to ask Kirk tonight "Who won? Hint: USA 17 - World 0. "]