Mark Henninger has resigned as N.C. Wesleyan’s football coach to accept a job at NAIA Marian University in his hometown of Indianapolis, the school announced late Thursday night.
Henninger’s resignation comes after five seasons in charge of the Battling Bishops’ football program, in which the team finished 26-25 and finished first in the USA South twice, including an outright title in 2009.
He was with the program since its inception in 2003.
“Well, I’m excited for him and his family for the chance to go back home, and for the opportunity he has,” N.C. Wesleyan athletics director John Thompson said. “I’m sad to see him go. He obviously did a tremendous job at the helm of our program.”
Thompson said a national search for Henninger’s replacement already is under way. He said the Bishops hope to have a new coach “as soon as possible.”
“We probably had 10 (applications) before we had even made the announcement,” Thompson said.
Marian is one of the top programs in the NAIA. Since beginning their program in 2007, the Knights have gone 48-23, winning their conference twice and capturing the 2012 NAIA National Championship.
N.C. Wesleyan has not hired a search firm to help find a replacement head coach.
Thompson would not say specifically what the program is looking for in a replacement, only that the new coach is expected to be a good fit.
N.C. Wesleyan went 5-15 in the past two years as the team’s roster experienced heavy amounts of turnover.
“We need somebody to take the reigns who has similar goals and values as our institution,” Thompson said. “We need someone who can step in where we are (currently) and be ready.”
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or npiotrowicz@ rmtelegram.com.