Pete Roussel is reporting that new Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm has added to his staff by hiring Cincinnati special teams coordinator and tight end coach Ty Helton.
— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) January 12, 2014
Helton didn’t come with Tuberville from Texas Tech like others on this staff but was instead hired away from UAB. He spent several years on the Blazers coaching various aspects of the offense including runningbacks and quarterbacks, so being promoted to offensive coordinator at WKU isn’t all that surprising. Helton also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator. At Cincinnati, he was instrumental in the Bearcats snagging Hayden Moore from Alabama and Landon Brazile from Dayton in the 2014 class. Considering his connections to the deep South, I’d be curious to learn if Helton’s departure and Jeff Koonz’s hiring, who also has a history of recruiting Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, are linked in any way.
On the coaching side, Ty Helton definitely made an impact on the Bearcats’ tight ends and runningbacks. Neither Blake Annen nor DJ Dowdy put up monster numbers like Travis Kelce a season before but their stats were hindered by an absolutely stellar wide receiver corps. Additionally, both tight ends displayed excellent blocking skills, helping Cincinnati pace the AAC with over 2,100 yards of rushing offense. Annen in fact was named to the All-AAC First Team offense this past season. So, in this regard, UC will be missing Ty Helton dearly.
The same can’t be said of his handling of the special teams unit. Outside of punter, this aspect of the team was a hot mess. All you had to do was watch the Belk Bowl in which North Carolina returned two punts for touchdowns to get an idea for how horrendous Cincinnati’s special teams was in 2013. On top of that, UC never took a punt or kickoff to the house themselves and kicker Tony Miliano made just 7 of 17 field goal tries. So forgive me for not shedding any tears for Ty Helton giving someone else a chance to coach special teams next season.