MACOMB, Ill. - Myers Hendrickson was a Fighting Leatherneck long before he was named the 31st head football coach in Western Illinois University history. He is returning to his alma mater, the place he spent three seasons as a Leatherneck student-athlete and academic standout.
Hendrickson is coming home, and he brings along championship and postseason experience as a coach and former athlete.
“I’m very excited to have Coach Myers Hendrickson leading the Western Illinois football program,” said WIU Director of Athletics Danielle Surprenant. “His passion for WIU is unbelievable. He truly bleeds purple and gold.
“Myers has amassed great success as a head football coach. Pairing that with his familiarity with the program and experience, connections recruiting in the Midwest, I’m excited about the future of WIU Football. Once a Leatherneck, always a Leatherneck. Welcome home, Coach Hendrickson.”
As the head coach at Kansas Wesleyan University, Hendrickson led the team to an overall record of 30-4, which included two Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) championship titles in 2021 and 2019. The latter season contained a bevy of personal and team accolades as he was twice named Coach of the Year, while the team garnered KCAC Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year recognition. Six Coyotes were also named AP NAIA All-America, and the 2019 season also saw KWU reach as high as No. 2 in the national coaches’ poll - the highest ranking in school and conference history.
Hendrickson’s name is connected to several successes as the offensive coordinator and offensive position coach at Kansas Wesleyan (2015-16, 2019-21), Northern State University (2017-19), and Coe College (2016-17). His tenure at KWU featured conference and school records for the most points (90) and yards (793) in a single game, as well as the Coyotes’ season mark in passing yards (4,089). The team finished the 2020 season ‘Top 10’ in the country in nine offensive categories.
While at Coe, in nearby Cedar Rapids, Hendrickson coached three Kohawks to single-season records, including receptions (73), passing touchdowns (27), and passing yards (3,436). The Kohawks crowned the 2016 season as Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) champions with a second-round appearance in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. In his first season with the program, the offense ranked 15th in the nation in rushing offense with 253.7 yards per game, 26th in the nation in total offense with 473.6 yards per game, and 23rd in the nation in red-zone offense, scoring 86.8 percent of the time.
Hendrickson began his coaching career as the defensive quality control coach at Auburn University in 2012, before moving on to Holmes Community College in 2013.
Hendrickson competed as a wide receiver for Western from 2009-11, playing in every game during his last two seasons. As a senior, he was named Phil Steele Preseason College Football Second Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) as a punt returner. The three years also saw him land on the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) All-Academic Team each season, along with receiving the Dr. Frank Sorenson Award for Academic Achievement – awarded to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on the football team.
During Saturday’s (Dec. 18) men’s basketball game being played in Western Hall, Hendrickson will be recognized at halftime.
This article originally appeared on The McDonough County Voice: hendrickson leatehrnecks