Primus Wrestling Coach
Dave graduated from Cumberland Valley High School in 1996 and is a 2000 graduate of Villanova University. While at CV Dave was a three-year varsity letter winner as a football player, as well as a four-year Varsity letter winner in wrestling.
On the football field Dave played on both sides of the ball. He was a Mid-Penn League 1st Team Linebacker in both his Junior and Senior seasons. As a senior Dave was a First Team Fullback, First Team Linebacker as well as Mid Penn Defensive Player of the year. Dave was also named to the Associated Press (Large School) 1st Team All State Defense his senior year. The Carlisle Sentinel named him as one of the area’s top linebackers his junior season and was chosen as the Player of the Year his senior year.
As a wrestler, Dave was four-year starter for Cumberland Valley from 1992-1996. His high school record was 111-17 and he became the first wrestler at Cumberland Valley to reach 100 wins. He would Co-Captain the wrestling team in both his Junior and Senior years. Dave was a PIAA State Qualifier as a sophomore, junior & senior as well as a 2X District 3 Champion. In the PIAA State Wrestling Tournament Dave was a 2X finalist and in 1996 he became Cumberland Valley’s 4th PIAA State Champion at 189 lbs. Dave was also a Cadet All American in Freestyle/Greco Roman Wrestling. In all of his final three seasons he was named a Mid-Penn 1st Team All Star and to the Patriot News Big 13 Team. After his senior season on the mat, the Carlisle Sentinel named Dave their Wrestler of the Year as well as the 1996 Male Athlete of the Year.
Dave would continue his athletic career when he received an athletic scholarship to play football at Villanova University. While at Villanova he would be a become four-year starter at linebacker as well as being named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team as a senior. In his first college game against Rutgers Dave earned Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week and as a senior was the recipient of the Villanova Coaches Helmet Award for “Hard work, Leadership and Dedication”.
After graduating from Villanova with a degree in Secondary Education, Dave would use a fifth year of eligibility to attend Penn State University and join the Penn State wrestling team while earning his M.A. Degree in Education Administration. Dave would win the team award for the senior with the most wins while posting a 23-11 record. Dave was honored as the Eleventh Man Award winner for “Leadership and Dedication” and he was named to the All-Academic Big Ten Team.
After leaving Penn State, Dave would return home to Cumberland Valley and become an assistant wrestling coach. In 2004-05 season Dave took over the Cumberland Valley head wrestling coaching position.
Dave has coached 55 Sectional Champions, 24 District 3 Champions and has had 62 of his wrestlers Qualify for the PIAA Wrestling Championships. He has coached four of his wrestlers to PIAA State Wrestling titles. He has also coached 5 NCAA Division 1 wrestlers who have competed in the NCAA Division I Wrestling tournament.
As a team Cumberland Valley has averaged 16 wins a season under Coach Heckard. Three times Cumberland Valley has been the District 3 & South Central Regional Team Champions. In 14 of 15 seasons that Dave has coached Cumberland Valley has qualified for the District 3 Team Championships. Five times they have been the District 3 Team Champion and his teams have finished 2nd twice and 3rd and 4th once at the PIAA Team Championships. Currently, Coach Heckard is the winningest wrestling coach in CV Wrestling history where his record stands at 274-84. Dave stepped down as Head Coach at CV in 2021 and took over as Head Coach at Mechanicsburg High School in 2022.
Dave is in his 22nd year of teaching as a Social Studies teacher and coach at Mechanicsburg High School and currently resides in Mechanicsburg with his wife Casey and daughters Emma and Samantha. In addition to currently coaching at Mechanicsburg HS, Dave is also a club coach and looks forward to joining the Primus Wrestling Club.