Heather (Wiley) Hefner joined the Liberty field hockey staff as an assistant coach on May 1, 2018.
In her first two seasons as an assistant coach, Hefner and Liberty have won 23 games and posted an 11-3 mark in BIG EAST competition. Hefner has instructed three NFHCA Division I All-America recipients, eight All-BIG EAST selections, one BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, one BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year, six NFHCA All-South Region team honorees, six VaSID Field Hockey All-State University Division team selections, one VaSID Player of the Year and one VaSID Rookie of the Year.
In her second season as an assistant coach with the program in 2019, the Lady Flames posted a 10-8 overall mark, No. 19 national ranking and No. 20 RPI at season's end. Liberty finished 5-2 in the BIG EAST and qualified for the BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship for the fourth straight year. The Lady Flames faced nine nationally ranked foes in 2019.
Hefner instructed Liberty's four All-BIG EAST selections in 2019 – Ashley Dykema (Co-Defensive Player of the Year and first team), Daniella Rhodes (BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and first team), Jill Bolton (first team) and Charlotte Vaanhold). Dykema and Bolton went on to be named All-Americans, with Dykema earning NFHCA Division I All-America second team honors and Bolton garnering third team honors. It marked the first time in program history Liberty featured two All-Americans in the same season.
Dykema, Bolton and Rhodes each garnered inclusion on the NFHCA All-South Region first team, marking the first time in school history that the Lady Flames had three first team all-region players in the same season. The trio also earned VaSID Field Hockey All-State University Division first team honors, with Rhodes being named VaSID Rookie of the Year.
Hefner's first season in Lynchburg proved to be successful, as the Lady Flames posted a 13-6 record, No. 15 RPI and No. 16 national ranking at season's end. Liberty finished a program-best 6-1 in the BIG EAST and placed as the runner-up at the 2018 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship, which Liberty hosted for the first time ever. Liberty faced nine nationally ranked foes in 2018, defeating No. 7 Virginia, No. 11 Boston College, No. 17 James Madison and No. 22 Old Dominion in the process.
Hefner instructed Liberty's four All-BIG EAST selections in 2018 – Agueda Moroni (Offensive Player of the Year and first team), Jill Bolton (first team), Ashley Dykema (first team) and Abby Julius (second team). Moroni also went on to become the fourth All-American in program history, become a NFHCA Division I All-America first team honoree. She is the first player in school history to receive first team distinction.
Moroni (first team), Bolton (second team) and Dykema (second team) each garnered inclusion on the NFHCA All-South region team. Additionally, Moroni (VaSID Player of the Year and first team), Bolton (first team) and Dykema (first team) garnered recognition on the VaSID Field Hockey All-State University Division team.
Hefner joins the Lady Flames field hockey program after spending a year as a volunteer assistant coach for the Delaware Blue Hens and head coach Rolf Van de Kerkhof. In her one year with the Blue Hens, the 2016 national champions, Delaware posted a 15-5 record and captured its fifth consecutive CAA title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
Hefner coached two All-American selections (Greta Nauck and Taylor Lister), the NFHCA Mid-Atlantic Player of the Year (Nauck), four Longstreth/NFHCA All-Region honorees and eight CAA All-Conference players. With Hefner on staff, Delaware ranked in the top 10 in nine NCAA statistical categories, including: scoring average, goals per game, goals-against-average, scoring margin, winning percentage, assists per game, points per game, save percentage and defensive saves.
Hefner was a defender and four-year letter winner at Wake Forest (2013-17). She made 76 appearances and 48 starts during her career with the Demon Deacons. Wiley was a three-time NFHCA All-Academic team honoree while at Wake Forest and graduated in May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and minors in journalism and communication.
"Heather is an excellent addition to our staff. Her love for Jesus and collegiate playing experience under Jen Averill at Wake Forest has prepared her to thrive as a coach at Liberty," Parsley-Blocker said. "I could not be more excited to have such a passionate person as a part of my program. I know that she will be an immediate asset to our players both on and off the pitch. Heather will primarily work with our defensive unit and play a major role in recruiting and the spiritual development of our program."
Hefner currently resides in Lynchburg, Va., and is married to Hunter Hefner. The couple was married in June 2018.