Men's Basketball Coaching Staff
Coach Heiss became the 51st coach in NJCAA history to reach 500 career wins in February of 2011.
Dave Heiss, Head Coach
Over the last 28 seasons, Dave Heiss has built the Chiefs into a perennial top-20 program. In 2011 he joined a select group when he became the 51st coach all-time in NJCAA basketball history to reach the 500-win plateau. Heiss has led the Chiefs to the Region IV crown and a berth into the NJCAA Division II National Tournament five times. He has guided the Chiefs to 11 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) titles, and 15 of his squads have won 20 or more games in a season. Under his direction the Chiefs have won 552 games entering this season, an average of nearly 20 wins a season for almost three decades.
Accordingly, off-the-court recognition has followed Heiss’ on-court success. He has been inducted into the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame (2006), the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame (2009), the Aurora West High School Athletic Hall of Fame (2010), the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame (2010) and the NJCAA Hall of Fame (2013). Heiss has been selected as the IBCA and the Region IV Basketball Coach of the Year five times, while the ISCC has tabbed him with that honor ten times. In 2008 he became the ISCC’s all-time record holder for career wins with his 191st victory, and currently has 249 wins heading into 2014 league play. During his tenure 63 of his players have been named All-ISCC First Team, including eight league MVP Awards.
In 1980, Heiss was an All-Upstate Eight performer at Aurora West High School when his team finished third in the state. He went on to play at Eastern Wyoming Junior College where he led the NJCAA Region IX in scoring as a sophomore. Heiss then transferred to Bemidji State University in Minnesota where he was All-Northern Sun Conference his final two years. Heiss was invited to the Utah Jazz rookie and free agent camp in 1986 and played for the Jazz’ rookie team in the Pro-Am League that summer.
Heiss earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education at Bemidji State and his master’s degree from Chicago State University in 1992. He is a full-time faculty member in Waubonsee’s physical education department and in 1996 was an instrumental player in the establishment of the school’s S.T.A.R. program, a ground-breaking student/athlete academic assistance and monitoring system. Heiss has also been Waubonsee’s head golf coach the last 22 years, leading his golfers to three ISCC titles and a Region IV Div. II title in 2001. A life-long resident of Aurora, Heiss has three children, D.J., Danielle and Demi.
Rick Robinson, Assistant Coach
Rick Robinson is in his fourth season as the Men’s Assistant Coach. In his ‘rookie’ year he helped guide the Chiefs to another NJCAA Division II National Tournament berth. He brings to the program more than 30 years experience playing, coaching, teaching, mentoring and counseling for a variety of organizations. More recently Robinson spent a year as the head sophomore coach at Marmion Academy and two years as the Varsity Assistant. He also coached two seasons at K.D. Waldo Junior High School on the east side of Aurora.
Robinson is a 1978 graduate of Aurora East High School where he starred for the Tomcats under legendary coach Ernie Kivisto. The 6’6” center was an All-Upstate Eight Conference First Teamer and the Most Valuable Player of both the St. Charles Thanksgiving Tournament and the Tomcats’ Christmas Tournament his senior year. He also competed in track and field, setting a school-record in the high jump which stood until 2009. He was inducted into the Tomcats’ Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Robinson went to Eastern Illinois University on a basketball scholarship and continued to excel on the court. He was the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year in 1981, while being named All-MCC three times. In addition, Robinson was tabbed the Panthers’ Most Valuable Player for the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons, and was selected to the NABC Division II All-American Team his senior year. He played professionally for one season (1982-83) in New Zealand, where he even appeared as a public speaker once with Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University. He then worked as a Youth Director for an outreach program, and served as a Departmental Liaison at a Recreation Center in Decatur, Georgia. He later established and coached the Northeast Atlanta Hawks AAU 12U and 17U teams from 1997 through 2002. Robinson has also been a Counselor for a Waukegan area Juvenile Detention Center, and Teacher’s Assistant for the Quad County Urban League and Aurora Community Outreach. Additionally he has worked as a teacher and aide for Fox Valley Tech & Trade, and the Aurora Education Center. Robinson currently works for Sodexo Corporation. A father of four, he lives in Aurora with his wife Vanessa.
Mario Alfaro, Team Manager
Erickson Hall, Room 202
(630) 466-7900, ext. 5777