George Helow – College Football Coach
George Helow is a college football coach with extensive experience. He’s worked at schools such as Colorado State, Georgia and Florida State, serving as special teams coordinator and defensive position coach.
Helow was an integral part of Michigan’s 2021 and 2022 defensive coaching staffs, helping the Wolverines achieve top-20 finishes both years. He worked closely with Junior Colson and Nikhai Hill-Green in developing them into All-Big Ten linebackers.
Early Life and Education
George Helow was born in Gardner, Massachusetts on July 8, 1921 and attended Andrew Jackson High School and the University of South Carolina where he served as student body president and was an active member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Helow had a distinguished business career that began with the founding of Zippy Mart, America’s largest solely-owned convenience store chain. Additionally, he served on the boards of directors for Baymeadows Bank and Ocean State Bank, Catholic Charities, and through his Margaret and George Helow Family Foundation he made charitable contributions.
Helow passed away on January 17th, 2017 at the age of 90. Survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Margaret; son Joseph; daughters Mary Pritchard, Anne Darling, Diane Parker, Katherine Gilligan and Theresa Ryan; 47 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
George Helow is a coach whose career has encompassed some of college football’s top programs. He served as defensive assistant at Alabama, Florida State and Georgia before earning his master’s degree in adult education from the University of Georgia.
Helow was hired this offseason by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh as their safeties coach. Before joining Michigan, Helow had worked with some of college football’s greatest names – Nick Saban, Jeremy Pruitt, Mike Bobo and Jimbo Fisher – at some of the nation’s most successful programs.
Helow served as head coach at Michigan for two seasons, helping the Wolverines rank in the top 15 in yards per play both years. Furthermore, he molded Junior Colson into a Freshman All-American and All-Big Ten linebacker.
Achievements and Honors
George Helow’s path to coaching a national championship was an arduous one. From Ole Miss walk-on to Alabama defensive intern and now National Championship Coach, Helow has had quite the journey.
Helow made his college coaching debut as a member of Nick Saban’s staff in 2012. Initially an intern in the weight room during spring and summer sessions, Helow then served as defensive intern for coordinator Kirby Smart.
Helow joined Michigan prior to the 2021 season and helped transition the Wolverines from former coordinator Don Brown’s scheme to one based on the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. To do this, he had to reorganize a linebacker corps that was filled with hybrid players recruited specifically for playing Viper roles under Brown.
George Helow is a former walk-on linebacker at Ole Miss who has made quite an impression on special teams. In 2010, he led the Rebels in special team tackles and earned himself nomination for the Burlsworth Trophy.
Helow previously served as the safeties coach of Colorado State (2018-19) and assistant safety coach of Georgia (2014-15). Prior to that he had served as defensive graduate assistant at Florida State (2013) and defensive intern at Alabama (2012).
Helow joined Michigan’s staff in 2020, coaching inside linebackers and managing special teams. During his two seasons with the Wolverines, he had a significant role in developing Junior Colson, Nikhai Hill-Green and Michael Barrett into successful players.
George Helow has an estimated net worth of $500-749K. He is a philanthropist and expert in real estate investments, having founded the Margaret and George Helow Family Foundation to assist those less fortunate, Catholic Charities, and churches. Additionally, He owns real estate in Jacksonville as well as being on several board of directors for different companies. Originally born in Gardner Massachusetts in 1932, Helow moved to Jacksonville 54 years ago with his wife Margaret; together they have four daughters and two sons. As an investor and former executive with Blackstock & Company, George earned between $125-149K annually while being an alumni of Andrew Jackson High School and Kappa Sigma fraternity.