Helias Football: New Coach, Old Name

1 decade 2 years 10 months ago Friday, January 20 2006 Jan 20, 2006 Friday, January 20, 2006 5:44:46 PM CST January 20, 2006 in Sports

Chris Hentges, son of former head coach Ray Hentges, takes over a Crusader squad that finished the 2005 season with a losing record under the recently-fired Mike Jeffries.

Thursday's hire continues a lifelong relationship between Helias football and Hentges. The new head coach was never far from the gridiron in Jefferson City, serving as a ballboy for his father before eventually maturing into an All-American player for the Crusaders.

After graduating in 1984 with nearly every all-time Helias rushing record, Hentges continued his playing career in the Big 8 for the Cyclones of Iowa State. Hentges returned to the Helias sidelines in 1993 and has served as an assistant coach for the past 13 seasons. Hentges says the opportunity to lead his alma mater and continue his father's coaching legacy is proof that goals can be accomplished at any age.

"It really is a dream come true. When you're 40 years old, sometimes you think your dreams are gone and they're not going to be fulfilled. But this is a part of the happy ending," said Hentges. "The happiest ending will be when we're raising that state championship trophy."

Ray Hentges coached the Crusaders to two state championships during his 33 years as Helias head coach. If the younger Hentges is to replicate his father's success, he will face competition from a former Crusader teammate. Ted Le Page, a Helias alumnus, was recently named head coach of the cross-town rival Jefferson City Jays.

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