HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Chuck Heater's resume, which includes three national championships, pretty much speaks for itself, but his former bosses and colleagues are augmenting that with a few choice compliments.
Perhaps Urban Meyer, who employed Heater and Marshall head coach Doc Holliday at Florida, throws out one of the best kudos.
"He's one of the best teachers. I used to just sit in his meetings and watch him coach," said Meyer, now coach at Ohio State. "Coach Heater has a tendency of making some players out of non-players."
His 37 years of teaching carried a lot of weight with Holliday, who bemoaned his team's lack of defense in a 5-7 campaign. The fourth-year head coach formally announced Heater as the Thundering Herd's new defensive coordinator on Monday.
Heater comes from Temple, where he coordinated the Owls' defense the last two years. He has coached at 10 other schools, has been part of 25 bowl games and three national championships: 1988 season at Notre Dame, where the Fighting Irish beat West Virginia in a 1-vs.-3 game, and the BCS title games following the 2006 and 2008 seasons.
He also was nominated for the Frank Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in the nation, in 2006 and 2011.
His many stops brought him to crack this self-deprecating joke: "That means I'm old and can't keep a job. That combination gets you a long resume."
But he has a track record of player development. He has mentored 20 NFL draft selections and 24 NFL players, a Jim Thorpe Award winner (Chris Hudson, Colorado) and numerous all-conference selections. He has coached under six national coaches of the year (Meyer, Barry Alvarez, Earle Bruce, Lou Holtz, Bill McCartney and Bo Schembechler).
Heater, a second-team All-Big Ten running back at Michigan, returns to his West Virginia roots, having been born in Weston. He moved from Weston to Tiffin, Ohio, when he was about 1, but spent several summers with family in the Weston-Buckhannon area.
He became available when Temple head coach Steve Addazio moved to Boston College and hired another defensive coordinator, former Connecticut assistant Don Brown.
Holliday, who worked with Heater on Meyer's Florida staff from 2005-07, found that experience hard to pass up.