Voorhees High School Wrestling
"Only The Tough Survive"


It is no strange coincidence that Tom Heilman’s tenure as an assistant coach with the Voorhees Wrestling Program parallels the greatest periods of success in its history.  Out of the fourteen New Jersey State Sectional Championship Teams Voorhees has churned out, Tom was on the staff for eleven of them, including the four that went on to win the Group Championship.  He was sitting on the bench for the incredible run in the 1980s when Voorhees won the sectional championship nine out of ten years.  And after a successful four-year stint as head coach at Wilson High School in Pennsylvania, he returned to the Voorhees bench to help the program regain its prominence in the mid-nineties.  He coached 65 district, 26 region, and 4 state champions.  Not only did he coach all those accomplished wrestlers, but also if any of them weighed 150 pounds or more, it is likely that he worked out with them on a daily basis.  Coach Heilman not only gave his time to the program for almost twenty years but his body as well.  He was known for working up as much sweat as the wrestlers during practice, always willing to roll with the boys no matter their size or experience.

Coach Heilman also dedicated many of his afternoons and evenings to the Voorhees Football Program.  He graciously gave up his free time breaking down film, scouting opposing teams, and coaching running backs, linebackers, and tight- ends.  Again, he found himself to be a part of the most successful of eras of a Voorhees program’s history.  He was on the sideline for both of football’s state final appearances, including when Voorhees won it all in the Fall of 1995.

Always having a fondness for the game of tennis, Tom began to get involved with the boys’ tennis program in 1997, working under longtime Voorhees tennis coach, John Armagost.  Tom took over the program in the 2000 season and captained the ship all the way through the Spring of 2006.  He coached three Hunterdon-Warren Championship Teams, qualified for the state tournament three times, and won the Raritan Division Championship in 2005, all while boasting an impressive 80-47 record.  In all, between tennis, football, and wrestling, Tom coached over forty seasons of athletic competition at Voorhees.

Currently, in his second year of retirement, Tom is still staying active in teaching, working three different jobs for two and half days a week. He is currently teaching Anatomy & Physiology at Hunterdon County Polytech in a pre-nursing program.  He teaches similar courses as an adjunct professor at both Raritan Valley Community College and Penn State’s Lehigh Valley Campus. For the last ten years, he has traveled around the country to grade AP Environmental Science Exams for a week in June.  He has moved up the ladder and now actually supervises a group of eight readers.  Tom has been married to his wife, Linda, for 36 years, and together they have raised three children.  Jamie (32) is the technology coordinator in the architecture department at Penn State main campus.  Kacie (27) has been recently engaged and works as an aerobics instructor while still taking courses for Special Education at De Sales University.  Trevor (23) just graduated from Temple University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

After giving so much for so many years, it is only fair that Tom gets to take something.  As far as he is concerned, the experience was rewarding enough. “Overall, I have found athletes, coaches, parents, or fans to be very good people at Voorhees, whatever the sport, whatever the level, whether the season’s record was outstanding or mediocre. I have loved just about all of the opportunities that I have taken advantage of through my years at Voorhees.”