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Football, wrestling assistants tabbed

Manchester University Director of Athletics Rick Espeset has announced the hiring of assistant coaches in football and wrestling.

Joe Hecklinski and Aaron Rice will be joining the football staff, while Chad Cook is assisting in wrestling.

Hecklinski, the nephew of former Spartan men’s basketball standout Ron Hecklinski, helped lead Marian University to a 6-5 record a year ago as the Knights’ starting quarterback. He threw for more than 2,000 yards and 10 touchdowns during his senior year and was also a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and Mid-States Football all-academic honoree as part of his collegiate career. Hecklinski earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in math and secondary education in May 2014.

Rice, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in business from Kalamazoo College in May 2012, has been part of three coaching opportunities prior to joining MU’s staff. He was an assistant coach for his alma mater working with running backs and special teams from April 2013-July 2014; was the junior varsity running backs and defensive backs coach for Parchment (Mich.) High School from Aug. 2012-April 2013; and served as wide receiver and defensive backs coach for the Western Michigan Mayhem from Aug. 2008-May 2010. Rice also starred for the Hornets as a football and baseball player during his collegiate career.

Cook joins the Spartan wrestling staff after being a student coach at the University of Dubuque in 2012-13. He has Indiana ties in his background, as he was a coach at Evansville’s F.J. Reitz High School (2005-11) and competed at the University of Southern Indiana (2006-08) where he was a National Wrestling Coaches Association Division II All-American. Cook earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education from the University of Dubuque in December 2013.