Greg Heiar has completed his third year on the LSU staff of Coach Will Wade, his first as the Associate Head Coach after two years as assistant coach on the LSU staff.
Heiar joined the LSU staff prior to the 2017-18 season after Coach Wade was hired as head coach at LSU.
Heiar has been part of the staff that has assisted Coach Wade in the Tigers transformation back into prominence with his on-floor coaching and recruiting that has allowed the LSU program to develop a winning consistency that has seen the program win 67 games over three seasons.
In his first three seasons, the Tigers captured the SEC Championship in 2019 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. The team advanced to post-season play in the first two seasons and was in position to go to a second straight NCAA Tournament in 2020 when the tournament was cancelled. LSU followed its Championship season by finishing in a tie for second in 2020.
Heiar has also been part of the efforts to bring in top talent to LSU, helping LSU land the No. 4 recruiting class in the country prior to the 2019 season of Javonte Smart, Marlon Taylor, Emmitt Williams and Darius Days and is set to bring in a top 10 class for the 2020-21 season.
He works tirelessly on the court in practice helping to make LSU better whether it is coordinating defense or putting together shooting drills for players of all positions. Guard Tremont Waters earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2019 and teammate Skylar Mays was a second-team selections. Waters was the No. 51 selection of the 2019 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics.
Mays completed his final year with the program earning All-SEC first-team honors, finishing eighth in the league in scoring and top five in field goal and free throw percentage. Mays had three-years of play with this coaching staff and finished his career in the top 10 in nine different LSU statistical categories.
Heiar (pronounced “higher”) came to LSU after six seasons as an assistant coach at Wichita State.
In Heiar’s six years at Wichita State, the Shockers posted 179 wins and five Missouri Valley Conference regular season championships and six consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a run to the 2013 NCAA Final Four. He worked extensively with the guards and helped mentor All-Americans Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet.
Prior to his years at Wichita State, Heiar also served two seasons as an assistant coach at Southern Miss and five seasons as head coach at Chipola (Fla.) Junior College.
Both Baker and VanVleet would sign NBA contracts after the conclusion of their senior seasons in 2016. VanVleet would earn Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year honors in both 2014 and 2016 finishing as the school’s career assists and steals leader. Baker would finish in the top 10 of WSU’s career scoring list.
In that 2016 season, WSU was the only team in Division I to surrender fewer than 60 points per game (59.0) and the team’s +5.6 turnover margin ranked second nationally. Baker and VanVleet combined for a 2.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and recorded as many steals (108) as they had turnovers (108).
At LSU in his first season, LSU point guards Waters and Mays averaged a combined 27.2 points a game and posted 295 assists to 152 turnovers. In 18 SEC games, their combined numbers were 155 assists and just 66 turnovers.
Again, LSU guards had positive numbers in the SEC championship campaign of 2019, as Waters, Mays and Smart averaged a combined 39.8 points with 345 assists and just 220 turnovers.
In 2020 with Smart at the point and Mays combined for 29.2 points with 229 assists and 140 turnovers. Smart in the 18 SEC games, led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.1 a game.
The 44-year-old Heiar was part of the Shocker program in 2012-13 when the team defeated Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, LaSalle and Ohio State to advance to the NCAA Final Four.
Heiar worked primarily with the Shocker backcourt during his time at Wichita State.
At Southern Miss, Heiar helped the Eagles to a pair of 20-win seasons (2009-11). The 2009-10 squad reached the Conference USA semifinals and a postseason bid in the CIT.
Before moving to Southern Miss, he served six years at Chipola Junior College, including the last five as the head coach (2004-09). His teams won 164 games during his head coaching tenure and was named Panhandle Conference Coach of the Year five times and Regional VIII Coach of the Year four times.
His team won five Panhandle Conference titles and had four appearances in the National JC Tournament, including a third place finish in 2009 when his team posted a 35-2 record. .
In his time as head coach, Heiar coached 40 all-conference players and sent 39 players to Division I schools.
As a player, Heiar, a native of Dubuque, Iowa, earned second-team all-region honors at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after leading his team to the JC Nationals for the first time in school history. That year he helped his team to a 25-10 record and a conference championship.
He would end up at Mount St. Clare College (later Franciscan University) in Clinton, Iowa, where he was a two-year captain and team MVP. He was a first-team all-conference choice and led the team to its first conference title in school history. He graduated from Mount St. Clare in 2000.
He started his coaching career there as a student assistant before becoming a grad assistant and later full-time assistant at Loras College in Iowa.
Heiar and his wife, Jessica, have one daughter, Alexis.
THE HEIAR FILE
Seasons Completed at LSU: Three
Birthdate: August 14, 1975
Hometown: Dubuque, Iowa
College: Mount St. Clare, ‘00
College Coaching Experience
2000-01: Student Assistant, Mount St. Clare College
2001-02: Graduate Assistant, Loras College
2002-03: Assistant Coach, Loras College
2003-04: Assistant Coach, Chipola JC
2004-09: Head Coach, Chipola JC
2009-11: Assistant Coach, Southern Miss
2011-17: Assistant Coach, Wichita State
2017-19: Assistant Coach, LSU
2019- : Associate Head Coach, LSU