PRESQUE ISLE – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Athletic Department has announced the hiring of Jim Casciano and Marc Heidorf as the program's new men's and women's head basketball coaches, respectively. Casciano also serves as the Assistant Athletic Director, while Heidorf takes on the role of Sports Information Director.
In his nearly 30 year collegiate coaching career, Casciano has headed up men's basketball programs at the NJCAA, NAIA, NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. Casciano joins the Owls' athletic program from Union County College (NJ) where he spent the past two seasons rebuilding the UCC program. The result was his team reaching the semifinals of the Division III Region XIX post-season tournament.
Even prior to UCC, Coach Casciano had earned a reputation for turning around programs and tasting success wherever he plants his flag:
Led the New Jersey Institute of Technology to a 2002 conference championship;
Named the 2002 CACC Co-"Coach of the Year" while at NJIT;
At King's College (PA), won the ECAC Southern Championship in 2001;
Put together four consecutive winning seasons while at St. Michael's College (VT) resulting in a 74-42 record over that span;
Won the 1987 Mideast Collegiate Conference Championship with SMC; and
Honored as the 2002 MCC "Coach of the Year" while with SMC.
When he is not in the gym coaching basketball, Casciano is writing about it. The coach has written articles about his basketball philosophies that have been printed in the publications Winning Hoops, Coaching Basketball, The Basketball Clinic, and The Basketball Bulletin.
"This is a tremendous opportunity and challenge, something I embrace because it is who I am as a coach," said Casciano. "I am a program builder. This is a time of change for us as we move to NCAA Division III. We have been given great support from President Zillman and Dean Corsello."
All of Heidorf's collegiate coaching background is exclusively at the NCAA Division III level. That is something he will look to utilize while leading an Owls' program continuing to make the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III play.
Heidorf has made two stops as an assistant coach in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, regarded by many as one of the top NCAA Division III women's basketball conferences in the nation. He began as an assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1997-98; a team that won the WIAC, went to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament and compiled a 26-2 record during his season with the team.
While at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Heidorf served as an advanced scout for conference opponents. His analysis helped lead the Eagles to only their 2nd win over conference foe UW-Oshkosh in 37 attempts and later their first season sweep of the Titans in over 20 years. He was also part of a recruiting effort that brought in a class that, as upperclassmen, helped lead the Eagles to their first NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 23 years.
As a first-time head coach at Lawrence University (WI), Heidorf's teams showed statistical improvement in categories including wins, points per game, field goal percentage, rebounds, and free throw percentage.
During summers, Coach Heidorf has been invited to join the staffs for girls' basketball camps at the University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, Indiana University, and Michigan State University.
"I am excited to join the UMPI athletics family. The first time I spoke with Dean Corsello and President Zillman, I was convinced that this is an athletics department and university that fully supports its programs. Meeting coaches on staff that have been here ten, twenty, and almost twenty-five years only strengthened my desire be a part of what we are building," said Heidorf. "My job is to take this women's basketball program to the next level of success. I have met the returning student-athletes and, let me tell you, we are not starting from scratch. We have student-athletes in this program that this university will be proud to have representing us, both on and off the court."
Heidorf earned his bachelor's degree with a major in Radio-TV-Film and minor in Coaching from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In 2007, he received his master's degree in Sport Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.