Hegarty has become a regular for the Gers in the Irn-Bru Third Division this term since forcing his way into the first team back in November.
Indeed, the 20-year-old has been in the starting line-up for the Ibrox club's last 21 league matches.
It has been a remarkable run for the lad from Dungannon, the first player to commit himself to the Glasgow club after their financial troubles last summer, given his inexperience.
However, he was moved to right-back for the game against Elgin City at Borough Briggs on Saturday in one of a series of personnel and positional changes.
Rangers had looked frail defensively in their embarrassing 2-1 defeat to part-time minnows Annan at Ibrox the week before and McCoist took action.
Versatile club captain Lee McCulloch dropped from centre-forward to centre-back alongside Brazilian stopper Emilson Cribari up in Moray.
The change certainly had the desired result – the back line looked far more solid than it had done and the visitors kept a clean sheet in a hard-fought 1-0 triumph.
The Light Blues manager, whose team is now 20 points clear and could wrap up the title against Stirling Albion at Ibrox this weekend, has told Hegarty to remain positive.
He has been greatly impressed with how the Northern Ireland Under-21 skipper has performed and insisted the weekend switch was no slight.
"There is no need for me to tell him to keep his head up," stated McCoist. "He is still in the team after all. He must be doing something right. Long may that continue.
"I must be honest, at the start of the season I couldn't have foreseen Chris playing so many games for us.
"He is a young player and centre-half is an important position in the team. In fact, I actually think centre-half and goalkeeper are your most important positions in the team.
"It is to his testament that he has actually played so many games. And it is also to his credit that, when we have not played him at centre-back, he has come in and played at right-back.
"He played against Elgin there and was up against arguably their biggest threat. Daniel Moore is a very good player and has posed us problems in the past. I thought young Hegarty did really well.
"Moore is a very good player. He is one of a few talented lads that we have come up against in the Third Division this season. He was good again on Saturday, but fortunately, Chris managed to contain him."
McCOIST added: "To be involved so much says a lot about him. He has come through the youth ranks and established himself in the first team.
"Even now at the level we are playing at that is not straightforward. He deserves enormous credit for being able to do that this season.
"He is a fan of the club and you can see what it means to him to be pulling on that light blue jersey every week. He is doing what he always wanted to do, playing for the club he loves, and he has been instrumental to us getting into the position we are in."
As well as moving Hegarty and McCulloch at the weekend, McCoist brought French utility man Sebastien Faure into the team to play alongside Ian Black in his team's central midfield.
The 22-year-old, whose preferred position is centre-half, has not featured extensively this season and, on the occasions he has been called upon, he has been utilised in a variety of different areas.
The Rangers manager felt that playing the former Lyon youth in a deep-lying role against Elgin City also helped to shore up a defence that had looked decidedly porous just seven days beforehand.
He reflected: "I thought we were helped by getting Sebastien Faure to drop back and win the headers against Elgin. That allowed Chris Hegarty and Lee McCulloch to drop back and pick the ball up. We were reasonably comfortable.
"The result up in Elgin has meant we have a chance to win the league either this weekend coming against Stirling or the following week against Montrose away. The game at Ibrox on Saturday must now be our focus.
"I think the players showed at the weekend their commitment to the club and desire to do well after a disappointing result the week before.
"Hopefully we will be able to maintain that standard until the end of the season."