Steve Helminiak joined the Duhawk staff in 2011 and returns to Loras where he was a former assistant coach and player from 1986 to 2000. Helminiak has nearly twenty years of coaching experience and serves as the offensive line coach for the Duhawks for the third straight season in 2013.
On December 17, 2013 he was named Head Coach following three games at the end of the 2013 season as Interim Head Coach.
“To begin, I’d like to thank Loras College President Jim Collins, Director of Athletics Bob Quinn, Associate Director of Athletics Denise Udelhofen, the Hiring Committee, and all those involved in the selection of the 27th head football coach at Loras College,” Helminiak said. “I believe in the mission of Loras College as a premier Catholic Liberal Arts College, producing principled thinkers and caring professionals.”
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, honored to be named, and humbled by the responsibility. I am excited to continue working with the outstanding young men we currently have in the program and equally excited to recruit quality student-athletes that will not only help to rebuild the Loras football program, but will also contribute to our campus academically, spiritually, and socially.”
“I also want to thank my wife Kelli and our children, whose encouragement and support have been crucial. We are thrilled about remaining at Loras College and the Dubuque community. We are a Loras Family, and look forward to giving back to Loras College, a place that has given us so much!”
He graduated from Loras in 1991 with a degree in business management. After a four year playing career as a Duhawk, Helminiak then joined the Loras College staff as a student assistant and working his way up to the offensive coordinator position at the conclusion of his first go-around with the Duhawks in 2002. Helminiak also served as the offensive coordinator at Rockford College until 2006. Helminiak came back to his alumnus from Southern Oregon University, where he served as the head coach since 2006.
During his time at Southern Oregon, Helminiak coached one AFCA and five VSN All-Americans. He also coached the 2009 NAIA Independent Offensive Player of the Year and the fourth best receiver in receptions and yards in SOU history. Helminiak compiled an 11-6 record versus NAIA opponents, including a 4-1 record against perennial NAIA power Azusa Pacific.
Jake Olsen, a native of Osage, Iowa enters his first season as Associate Head Coach with the Duhawk football program. Olsen will also coach the quarterbacks and handle play calling duties as Offensive Coordinator.
Olsen comes to Loras College from the University of Dubuque (2011-13) where he helped guide the Spartan offensive group to three of the most productive statistical seasons in school history including the 2011 Iowa Conference Championship. During his three years at Dubuque, Olsen worked directly with four 1st Team All-IIAC Selections, including back-to-back IIAC Offensive MVPs as well as the Gagliardi Award winner, which honors the top NCAA Division III Player of the Year.
Previously, Olsen served as Offensive Coordinator at Southern Oregon University (2006-10) producing three NAIA All-Americans including the NAIA Independent Offensive Player of the Year in 2009. Olsen’s offenses produced 14 All-Independent NAIA performers, two different 1,000 yard rushers in back to back seasons, all in addition to serving as the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator.
He began his coaching career at Rockford College (2003-05) where he received his master's of arts in teaching degree. He coached the Regents quarterbacks and wide receivers while holding the title of Passing Game Coordinator. In 2005, the Regents re-wrote 13 school offensive records behind the arm of All-NAC quarterback Travis Stocker who finished in Top-10 of passing efficiency.
Olsen is a 2003 graduate of Wartburg College where he received an elementary education degree. At Wartburg, he was a four-year letter winner in both football and basketball, earning All Conference honors in both sports. He was a member of two IIAC Football Championships and one IIAC Basketball Championship as a student-athlete. In 2013, Olsen was inducted in the Wartburg College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Olsen and his wife Liz reside in Dubuque with their three children Liam, Noah and Cadence.
A native of
Josh attended Winona State University in Winona, MN (2004-2006) to work on his Master of Science in Educational Leadership. While at Winona State he worked as the Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach for two years. After finishing his schooling Josh stayed at Winona State, changing roles to Director of Football Strength & Conditioning and Defensive Line coach (2006-2007).
During the (2007-2008) school year Josh was the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. He was in charge of the Men's and Women's Golf and Tennis programs, and assisted with the football program.
Presently, Josh is in his sixth year as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Loras College and was named the Defensive Coordinator for the Duhawks. He continues to have a role with the linebackers.
Josh handles all the strength, conditioning, agility, and nutritional development for all 22 athletic teams at Loras.
Josh resides in Dubuque with his wife Tristen and their son Jackson.
Michael Gainey is entering his first season as the Duhawks defensive backs coach after joining the staff during the off-season. The 2013 season will be his first as a member of the Loras College coaching staff.
A Streamwood, IL native, Michael attended Illinois Wesleyan University where he received his bachelor’s degree in History. While at Illinois Wesleyan, Gainey was a four year member of the Titans football team. He was a two-year letter winner, and was a part of two CCIW conference championship teams.
Gainey was most recently at Robert Morris University, where he served as the assistant defensive line and linebackers coach. Along with being the defensive assistant, Gainey was also the scout special teams coordinator. While at Robert Morris, he pursued his master’s degree in Business Administration, and graduated in December 2011.
David returns to the Rock Bowl this season as a coach after a four year career with the Duhawks from 2008-2011. He was a co-captain of the 2011 team and also played in the 2011 Tazon De Estrellas All-Star Game in Mexico.
Zoeckler, who will coach the defensive line, was a linebacker with the team and registered over 50 tackles in each of his final three seasons in a Loras uniform. He forced two fumbles in his career, recovered two fumbles, grabbed one interception, and logged 13 tackles for loss, including three sacks.
Zoeckler earned his Elementary Education degree from Loras in 2012. He resides in Dubuque.
BJ Main is a 2005 graduate of Loras College and quarterback with the Duhawks under former head coach Bob Bierie. Main earned his degree in Criminal Justice.
He returned to the staff in 2011 after previously serving for two years on the staff in 2006 and 2007. During Main's time in a Loras uniform, the team won over 20 games.
BJ works with the wide receivers for the Duhawks. He resides in Dubuque.
Joe Furco jumps right into the coaching world in 2013 after a successful four-year career as the quarterback for CCIW champion Elmhurst College from 2009-2012. Furco threw for over 8,000 yards, 70 touchdowns, and helped the team to Elmhurst’s first 10-win season in program history. He completed over 60% of his passes and maintained a GPA above 3.0 – earning him a spot on the Blue & White Wall.
Furco earned his bachelor’s degree from Elmhurst in Physical Education with a minor in Health.
Bob is now in his 3rd season as Assistant Offensive Line Coach. He retired from Dubuque’s Molo Companies in 2010. In 2011 he and Coach Mierkiewicz agreed on a volunteer position to help with the Duhawk football program.
Bucko pioneered the resurrection of collegiate football to Loras from 1973 - 1978 during the “club football” years. He held positions as Offensive Line Coach, Assistant Head Coach and was named Head Coach in 1976. During his tenure the Duhawks won four Region 7 Championships. The 1973 squad was ranked 2nd nationally. The team was invited to play in the National Club Sports Association’s National Championship game at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania against No. 1 ranked Duquesne University. Unfortunately, logistic and financial constraints prohibited the Duhawks from participating. In 1976 as Head Coach, his “club team” entered the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (Today’s UMAC). Loras was the only “club” team in the conference, the others were full NAIA varsity programs. In its first season in the conference, the “club” Duhawks earned the conference Co-Championship.
During Bucko’s time with the 1970’s Duhawks there were 32 NCSA All American and 20 All-Conference UMAC selections. Bob has also coached high school football in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He served our country was a United States Navy Fleet Marine Force Combat Corpsman during the Vietnam War. He is a proud graduate of Loras College.
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