John M. Heffernan '28
Year Inducted: 1971
Other Sports Played: Baseball, Football, Swimming
John M. Heffernan '28 became the first man at Brown to serve as basketball captain two successive seasons. Through his exceptional ability as a player and his capacity for leadership, Heffernan, perhaps more than any other man, was responsible for bringing basketball to the status of a major sport on College Hill. He also participated in baseball, football, and swimming at Brown. While coaching at Green Mountain College, Heffernan won seven Vermont titles in football and baseball and five in basketball. He served as athletic director and head football coach at Norwich University before returning to Brown in 1949 as head coach of freshman football, basketball, and baseball and director of the University's physical education and intramural programs. His intramural program was a model of how it should be done. For the past four years, Heffernan served as athletic director. The title of "Mr. Chips of the athletic department" fits Heffernan well, for in his long association with sports, boys were always more important than victories.