Willie Heidleberg: 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

Today, in Jackson, Mississippi, Lumberton native, Willie "Wee" Heidleberg was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Coach Heidelberg is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he was a letterman running back for the Golden Eagles during the 1970 and 1971 seasons. On October 17th 1970, Heidelberg helped lead Southern Mississippi to a 30-14 upset victory over Archie Manning and the fourth ranked Ole Miss Rebels. Heidelberg also played football at Pearl River Community College (1968-1969). He is a member of the Pearl River CC Sports Hall of Fame.

"Coach Heidelberg was a humble man of few words, but with a life of untold impact. He is an example to us all of how “to serve, not be served.” Belhaven Director of Athletics, Scott Little

In one of his last recorded interviews, Heidelburg says rarely a week goes by when somebody doesn’t mention that day 40 years ago when he ran into the end zone twice and into history – not just black history, Mississippi history. Heidelberg began his coaching career with the Blazers in 1999, coaching the running backs and wide receivers and served as Running Backs Coach this year. Prior to arriving at Belhaven, Coach Heidelberg served 25 years (1973-1998) as a coach and teacher at Murrah High School in Jackson. During his tenure with the Mustangs, Coach Heidelberg coached football, track and basketball, with two years coming as Head Football Coach and 14 years as Head Track Coach. Coach Heidelberg, who was served for 15 seasons at Belhaven as an assistant coach, has made history again when he was inducted posthumously into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Heidleberg's sisters Betty Speights and Tina Speights-Holder were in attendance at today's ceremony. Tina Speights-Holder stood in her brother's stead during the induction ceremony. Congratulations to Willie "Wee" Heidleberg! You continue to make us proud and your legacy continues to live in our hearts and now in the Mississippi Hall of Fame.

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