J.W. "Jake" Helms

Inducted: 1996

Best Known For: Coaching Football

College: Centenary College, Texas A&I


Coach J.W. “Jake” Helms led the 1961 San Benito Greyhounds to the Class 2A state semifinals and compiled a 62-18-5 record from 1957 to 1963, with two district titles in the Valley’s toughest league. His son, Jim, was one of the best Valley players ever.

As a player, he had been a standout end for Centenary and then Texas A&I in the late 1940s, and before coaching at San Benito he was a football assistant and head track leader at Brownsville Junior College from 1948-51. Then came stints at Laredo and Freer; at the latter school he coached a state semi-final Buckaroo squad in 1954.

A successful coach at all levels, Helms left high school with 95 career wins and became an assistant for Texas A&M from 1965-1968, serving as freshman coach or three seasons and also handling Aggie recruiting for the South Texas region during that time.