Hendrickson, 34, finished 0-22 in two seasons as a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Western’s season ended Saturday with a 48-6 loss to South Dakota.
The Leathernecks are in their final season in the MVFC, the toughest NCAA Football Championship Series conference in the nation. The Valley qualified six programs for the 24-team playoff field, and at least one MVFC team has made the FCS title game for 12 consecutive seasons. Western Illinois football will be moving to the Ohio Valley Conference in 2024.
“After careful consideration and evaluation of our Leatherneck football program, I have determined that a change in leadership is a necessary step to move the program forward,” Western athletics director Paul Bubb said in a release. “I want to thank Coach Hendrickson for his service to Western Illinois University and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
The school said it will conduct a “national search” to replace Hendrickson. In the meantime, assistant Brandon Kreczmer will serve as interim head coach.
Hendrickson was hired in December 2021 after three seasons as coach at NAIA Kentucky Wesleyan, where he was 30-4 overall. He is a former receiver for the Western Illinois football team and replaced Jared Elliott, who “mutually agreed to part ways” in 2021.
Hendrickson is a Macomb High School graduate and the son of former Western football coach Mark Hendrickson, who led the Leathernecks from 2008-12.