Helfer Interested in MBB Job
The Scoop: I am hearing that current Valdosta State Coach and former Southern Polytechnic State University Head Coach Mike Helfer (bio) is very interested in Kennesaw State’s men’s basketball head coach opening.
Helfer won 186 games in 8 seasons at SPSU (NAIA) before heading to DII Valdosta State and compiling a 184 and 108 record in ten seasons. He also served as an assistant coach at D1 Kent State from 1991-95.
Helfer would bring a track record of success to Kennesaw State, and years of experience as a head coach of a Division II program along with knowing what it takes to be successful in Diviion I after serving as a Kent State assistant. Bringing stability to Kennesaw State is the goal right now and Helfer has had success on two levels thus far in his career. His preferred style of play is up-tempo, applying tons of pressure and should be fun to watch (but right now any wins would be fun for me).
He arrived at SPSU for the 1997-1998 season, the same year that current KSU President Daniel Papp served one year as interim President. Helfer is also still SPSU proud after serving as a speaker on the weekend of the Spring Game for the SPSU Hall of Fame ceremony.
My take: A good Division II Coach with experience as an assistant at a D1 MAC school would definitely be better fit than a high school coach due to the additional responsibilities of the job. Former KSU Head Coach Tony Ingle transitioned over just fine after winning the DII national championship, but academics caught up to him. Many good DII teams could beat many of the lower ranked D1 teams on any given night, just as we saw when Paine gave KSU a scare this past season. Helfer definitely seems like a solid candidate and a much better choice than David Rivers, who only has one year of coaching experience under his belt. If Williams picks Rivers over a guy with head coaching experience, then I don’t know what to say.
Note: Current Kennesaw State assistant Jon Cremins was a graduate assistant of Helfer’s for a few years at Valdosta State, so if Helfer gets the hire, look for Cremins to possibly stay on.