Boudreau will serve as the Leathernecks’ associate head coach.
“When putting together a staff, I had a few key things in mind,” said Jeter. “I wanted an experienced staff with head coaching experience, high-character and high-energy coaches with a passion for recruiting and development, and a group who would work well together. I believe I’ve accomplished each of those things with these hires.”
Western’s new associate head coach was most recently the head men’s basketball coach at Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill.
Boudreau led the Cougars to three consecutive Arrowhead Conference titles with undefeated conference marks in 2019 and 2020, and he earned Arrowhead Conference’ Coach of the Year’ honors all three seasons of his Highland tenure. Boudreau was also named NJCAA Region IV’ Coach of the Year’ in 2018 and 2020.
He and Jeter join forces once again, after sharing history at the University of Milwaukee, where the former was an assistant on Jeter’s staff from 2005-2016. Boudreau helped Milwaukee to Horizon League championships in 2006, 2011, and 2014, and the Panthers qualified for six postseason tournaments during the 11-year stretch.
“It feels good to be working together again with Chad. We have such a successful history together, and it was very important Chad joined me here at Western,” said Jeter. “He has such a love and passion for helping others. Chad is not only a great recruiter but has also proven to be an outstanding head coach. We spent 11 years together at Milwaukee and he was instrumental in bringing in high-level talent that ultimately produced championships and NCAA appearances. I’m excited to be reunited with Chad and his family.”
Before joining the Leatherneck family, Heikkinen was a member of Boudreau’s staff at Highland. For three seasons, he was responsible for recruiting, opponent scouting, film breakdown, academic monitoring, program fundraising, team travel coordination, and the organization and administration of summer basketball camps.
Highland won the NJCAA District 10 title in 2018 as well as the Region IV championship in 2018 and 2020, and 13 student-athletes attained NCAA Division I scholarships under the pair’s tutelage.
Heikkinen’s collegiate coaching journey began at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (2013-17), where he assisted the team to the 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball National Championship. While there, Wisconsin-Whitewater posted a 90-25 record, and Heikkinen helped coach and develop the 2015 WIAC Player of the Year and two NCAA All-Americans.
“Kyle has been a successful coach at the high school and college level,” said Jeter. “He was a big part of the success at Highland. Just like myself, he started coaching at the Division III level, and I respect that. He is very familiar with my style and coaching philosophies, which is very important. Kyle has an outstanding work ethic, is very detailed, and has a passion for recruiting. In getting to know Kyle, it was very evident that he really cares for the student-athletes and works hard to help them become successful! Kyle is a great fit for the Leatherneck family!”
The 2020 IBCA Coach of the Year, Irvin heads to WIU after running one of the most successful boys’ basketball programs in Illinois history. The Chicago native compiled an impressive 301-70 record over 12 seasons as the head coach at Morgan Park.
He led the Mustangs to two separate, back-to-back IHSA Class 3A state title runs in 2013-2014 and 2017-18, and Morgan Park has won at least 20 games in all 12 seasons Irvin has been at the helm, including 10 straight regional crowns.
At Morgan Park, Irvin mentored numerous all-state selections, including Ayo Dosunmu and Adam Miller. Current Leatherneck Cam Burrell was a member of the 2017 and 2018 Morgan Park state championship teams.
Irvin is part of Chicago basketball royalty as his late father Mac sponsored one of the most recognizable AAU programs in the nation, the Mac Irvin Fire.
“Nick Irvin checks those boxes. Nick is a winner. He’s an energetic, successful head coach who has proven to develop high-level student-athletes,” added Jeter. “I have a ton of respect for Nick and the Irvin family. For such a big city, the Chicago basketball community is tight-knit, and the Irvins have strong ties. Coming back to Chicago and giving one of our own an opportunity was a priority for me, and I’m excited to have Nick join us at Western!”
For updates on Western Illinois men’s basketball, visit GoLeathernecks.com.