David Heffernan (’80) – Football
David Heffernan helped anchor the 1979 defense that was as formidable and intimidating as it was successful.
In 1979, Columbus had its own version of the Iron Curtain. The defensive tackles were David Heffernan and John McVeigh, and the defensive ends were Julio Cortes and Hank McGinnis.
Playing against some of the greatest running backs this town has ever seen – including Buster Rhymes at Northwestern and Freddie Miles at Miami Springs — the Columbus defense allowed a grand total of 39 points in 10 games.
They were called the “Goose Egg” defense because they recorded 5 shutouts. The team went 8-2 and lost two district games by a combined 11-0 score. Three of the players on that line played Division 1 college football including David Heffernan … who signed a scholarship with the University of Miami.
David Heffernan also played four years of basketball at Columbus. He was a starter his senior year.
He punctuated his success at Columbus by winning the prestigious Silver Knight Award in the category of athletics. To this day, he is the only Columbus student honored by the Silver Knight committee in this category.
David went on to play football at the University of Miami for four years legendary Miami Coach Howard Schnellenberger converted David from defensive to offensive line. David became a starter at right tackle in his junior year at Miami.
That was the year the Canes stunned the college football world by upsetting Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to win the national championship.
David was drafted in the middle rounds of the NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs but was let go on the last cut. He later was in training camp with the Detroit Lions, the New York Jets and the Tampa Bay Bucs before deciding to enter law school in the fall of 1989 he graduated from the University of Miami College of Law in 1991 and has been practicing law privately for the past two decades.