Heintz Stepping Down; Smialek Returns to Coaching
After seven years at Covenant College, Roy Heintz is resigning as the women's basketball coach and director of athletics to pursue other coaching opportunities. Heintz, who came to Covenant from Florida State University where he served as an assistant coach, has a strong desire to return to the NCAA Division I ranks as an assistant or the Division II level as a head coach.
"We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to be at Covenant and be a part of the incredible Chattanooga community for these seven years," said Heintz. "I have a strong desire to move on to my next challenge professionally, and my wife and I just felt like it was the time to make the move. I will cherish all the special memories here. I am proud of all we accomplished in the athletic department under my leadership, and I'm especially proud of all of our success both on the basketball court, and off of it, with our women's basketball program."
The Lady Scots finished this year's campaign with a 20-13 record, winning the school's first Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament championship and advancing to the NAIA national tournament. In his seven seasons at the helm, Heintz had a 119-93 record, and in three of those seasons his teams were ranked in the nation's Top 25 - the first time that had ever happened in school history.
He coached four NAIA or State Farm All-American selections, 13 All-AAC players, six AAC All-Freshmen honorees, and six AAC All-Defensive team members including two AAC "Defensive Player of the Year" honorees.
Equally impressive were his teams' excellence off the court, with seven Lady Scots earning NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete honors, and 24 earning AAC All-Academic recognition. In his seven years, his teams' combined grade point averages never fell below 3.0 for an academic year, and in two seasons his teams earned recognition as a Top 25 academic program by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Heintz took pride in how his teams performed on and off the court, so his squads' greatest accomplishment might have been winning the AAC "Champions of Character" award five times in seven seasons, winning it outright three times and awarded as the co-winner twice.
Under his leadership as director of athletics, the Covenant College athletic program grew from seven varsity teams to thirteen, with the addition of spring sport offerings in baseball, softball, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's golf. Covenant also added seven junior varsity teams over that time as well, as the number of student-athletes more than doubled from 113 to 270.
Covenant College will reach back into its past by having Tami Smialek return to the Lady Scots' bench. Smialek, who coached the Lady Scots women's basketball program for eighteen seasons as Heintz's predecessor, has served in various administrative positions during the past seven years, and will now coach women's basketball again while overseeing the athletic department too.