Men's Basketball Coaching Staff

Coach Heiss closing in on 600 career wins as an NJCAA coach

Coach Heiss closing in on 600 career wins as an NJCAA coach

Dave Heiss, Head Coach

Over the last 32 seasons Dave Heiss has built the Chiefs’ into a perennial top-20 program. Last season his team captured both the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title and the Region IV Division II championship on their way to a top-12 finish nationally. In early February he was on the sidelines for the 1,000th game leading the Chiefs, and two weeks later joined a select group when he became just the 11th active NJCAA basketball coach to reach the 600-win plateau. Heiss has led the Chiefs to the Region IV crown and a berth into the NJCAA Division II National Tournament six times. He has guided the Chiefs to a dozen ISCC titles, and 16 of his squads have won 20 or more games in a season. Under his direction the Chiefs have won 608 games entering this season, an average of 19 wins a season. 

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 six 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 275 wins heading into the 2017-18 league schedule. During his tenure 71 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 25 years, leading his golfers to five ISCC titles and a pair of Region IV Division II titles. A life-long resident of Aurora, Heiss has three children, D.J., Danielle and Demi.


Jonathan Shields, Volunteer Assistant Coach

Jonathan Shields takes on the role of Chiefs’ Assistant Coach this season. As a Volunteer Assistant Coach last year he helped guide Waubonsee to a share of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title, a Region IV crown and an NJCAA Division II National Tournament berth. As a matter of fact, he is the only person in Chiefs’ history to both play and coach in a National Tournament for Waubonsee. Shields played two seasons for head coach Dave Heiss, and brings that familiarity with the Chiefs’ program and system to the sidelines.     

Shields is a 2006 graduate of Chicago’s Washington High School where he was on the varsity for three years, the last two as a starter. The 6’2” shooting guard helped lead the Minutemen to back-to-back Red East Conference titles, earning All-Area and All-Conference Honorable Mention. His senior year the Minutemen set a school record for wins and reached the Chicago Public League title game, falling just short of knocking off top-seed Simeon which was led by future N.B.A. Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose.

As a freshman at Waubonsee during the 2007-2008 season, Shields earned All-ISCC Second Team honors helping the Chiefs garner perhaps the program’s most unexpected Region IV Championship. The sixth-seeded Chiefs upset the top three seeds en route to winning the title and earning a berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament with a .500 record. Shields’ last second three-pointer propelled Waubonsee past second-seeded Oakton in the semi-finals. As a sophomore he again earned All-ISCC Second Team honors, finishing his Waubonsee career with a solid 10 points-per-game average.

Shields went on to Livingstone College in North Carolina before returning home due to family issues. He can often be found on a basketball court giving individual skills instruction to youth players or conducting training sessions. For the last five years he has been the head coach of A Lot of Game, a Pro-Am tournament team that plays around the Chicago area. Shields currently lives in Oswego and works for the Caterpillar Corporation.



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