The Van Buren Boys

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Good Riddance

I would have liked if he were fired, but I'll take his departure anyway I can get it. I will now donate to GU T&F. To say tha he cared for his student athletes is a huge, huge overstatement. I've never encountered a coach at any level or type of athletics with such a "What have you done for me lately attitude?". The man is a total SOB who, at least during our tenure at GU, treated the men's team like we were a bunch of thugs and mentally tormented many a female runner.

Georgetown Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Announces Resignation
Washington, D.C. - Georgetown University Director of Athletics Bernard Muir announced today that Ron Helmer had resigned as Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.

"Ron is taking a position at Indiana University," Muir said. "While we are sorry to lose someone of Ron's ability and experience, we are grateful for h is many contributions to the track program's success. Ron is someone who genuinely cares for and develops his student-athletes and we wish him all the best in his future. Our challenge, which we will begin immediately, is to find a top quality person to continue the track program's tradition of success."

Helmer spent 21 years at Georgetown, including the last eight as the Director of the Men's and Women's Track & Field and Cross Country program. Helmer's impact on the Georgetown program during his time on the Hilltop can be seen with 119 of his student-athletes earning a total of 341 All-American recognitions, including 43 student-athletes receiving 100 certificates since he became director in 1999. In addition, 219 student-athletes have won BIG EAST individual titles, including 67 since the start of the 1999-00 academic year.

At the NCAA Championships, he has guided 27 athletes or relay teams to a top-three finish, highlighted by four national champions. As for team accomplishments, Helmer has coached 20 top-10 finishes in NCAA Championship action, including a streak of 15-straight at the cross country championships that ended in 2003. In addition, under Helmer's reign six Hoya teams have won the Penn Relays Championship of America relay, the latest being the 2004 men's 4x800m squad with a time of 7:13.75, the seventh fastest time in collegiate history. He has been part of 38 BIG EAST Championship teams, including winning the BIG EAST Indoor women's title this year, and his student-athletes have been honored 11 times as the Robert A. Duffey Scholar-Athlete award winner.
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Diamond_Mike said...

This is interesting and in keeping with Muir's track record. Since arriving at GU as athletic director he was overseen the removal of coaches for football, swimming, women's basketball, men's soccer, tennis, and now track (and there may be others I'm forgetting). What is a little strange about this is that (although he may have been a dick) this guy got results--the others did not. Stallion, do you think that problem will still be top flight with a new coach? Can it attrack somebody who will keep it at a top 25 level?

Italian Stallion said...

Agreed. From a results standpoint, he knew how to push buttons just right to get performance. Trouble is, afterwards or if he couldn't get enough out of you, he dropped people and was just downright mean.

The main problem with GU's track program recently (team has experienced a decline) is simply the facilities. Although it shouldn't be. Let's face it - Yates & Kehoe sucked, but we had some great squads. Also, Helmer's focus on distance events shifted from the source of GU's prior excellence in middle distance, particularly the mile.

Based on the legacy of the program, provided the current squad has talent, it shouldn't have a problem finding a suitable replacement. Trouble is that Helmer was locally grown. Went to college in the area and coached VA high school. DC area has a lot of talent & I'm sure he'll use his knowledge of the local scene & his prior success to lure east coast recruits to the midwest.

Team should be fine in the long run, but I'd expect to see a decline in performance over the next year or so. Similar to bball, it just takes a while to get used to a new school of thougth.

My guess is however, that Coach Henner, an equally strange dude (whose ex-wife, who also coached at GU, incidentally had an affair with Coach Benson before both abrubtly left to pursue other opportunties). Good thing about Henner though, is that he's also very well known in the area.