JONESBORO (12/24/09) - Arkansas State head football coach Steve Roberts announced Thursday that Clay Helton, a coaching veteran with over 14 years experience at the NCAA FBS level, has been named the Red Wolves new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Helton spent the last 10 seasons on the Memphis coaching staff, including the last three years as an assistant head coach and the offensive coordinator.
Helton began his stint at Memphis as the running backs coach in 2000 before taking over receivers in 2003 and quarterbacks upon his promotion to offensive coordinator in 2007. "We are very excited about coach Helton joining our staff," said Roberts. "He is an outstanding person, a great football coach and an excellent communicator. He is innovative, fast paced and designs ways to get the ball into the hands of the playmakers on your football team." "My family and I are really looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the Arkansas State family," said Helton. "This is a great opportunity to work for a head coach the caliber of Steve Roberts and to be a part of the tremendous staff he has assembled."
The Memphis offense ranked among the top 26 teams in the nation in total offense during two of Helton's three years as offensive coordinator. The 2008 team ranked 26th nationally in total offense and 22nd in rushing offense, while the 2007 squad ranked 23rd in total offense and 13th in passing offense.
Helton guided the Tigers' offense to numbers that ranked among some of the best in school history. Memphis' 5,767 yards in 2007 ranks second all-time in Memphis history, while the 2008 total of 5,424 yards ranks fifth. The 353 points scored in 2008 was good for the sixth most in school history, while the 2007 Tigers ranked fourth with 380 points.
Helton directed the Memphis offense in 2009 that saw Curtis Steele rush for over 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season, Duke Calhoun become the all-time leading receiver in school history and Carlos Singleton become the Tigers' all-time leader in receiving touchdowns.
Under Helton's guidance, quarterback Martin Hankins finished his two-year career ranked second in most career passing categories at Memphis, and set single-season records during the 2007 season in completions (261), yards (3,220) and touchdowns (25).
As wide receivers coach at Memphis, Helton guided two receivers to All-C-USA Freshman honors and directed a receiving corps that played a vital role in the Tigers' offense.
In 2006, Tiger receivers accounted for 21 of Memphis' 33 touchdowns and averaged 225 yards per game. A year after taking over the receivers, Helton's 2004 wideouts accounted for 25 touchdowns and 3,086 yards receiving, and were part of an offensive unit that ranked second in C-USA in total offense. In 2003, Helton inherited a depleted receiving corps and coached the group to school-record marks for receptions (260) and yardage (3,419).
In his first three seasons at Memphis as running backs coach, Helton played a huge role in the development of several young running backs, including Jeff Sanders, Dante Brown and eventual Heisman Trophy candidate DeAngelo Williams.
Helton coached at Houston from 1997-99 under his father, Kim Helton, before arriving at Memphis. While at UH, he directed the Cougar running backs for three seasons, and was responsible in 1997 for the development of All-C-USA?performer Ketric Sanford.
A native of Sugarland, Texas, Helton played quarterback for Houston in 1993 and 1994, after transferring from Auburn University. While playing for the Auburn Tigers in 1991, Helton received SEC All-Academic honors. He was voted one of Houston's team captains in 1994.
Following graduation from Houston, Helton entered the coaching profession as a member of Fred Goldsmith's staff at Duke University. He worked as a graduate assistant for Duke in 1995 and was hired as the Blue Devil's running backs coach in 1996.
ASU Sports Information