Three Coaches Tabbed for 2013 NJCAA Basketball Hall of Fame Class
February 7, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame class has been released by the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association. This year’s class features three longtime NJCAA head coaches Rich Corsetto, Dave Heiss and Dennis Helms.
Since its inception in 1984, a total of 133 coaches, players and special contributors have been inducted into the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Corsetto will be honored at the 2013 NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship banquet on March 13th in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. Heiss will be honored at the NJCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship banquet on March 18 in Danville, Ill. Helms will be honored at the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Hutchinson, Kan.
Hudson County Community College, N.J.
Passaic County Community College, N.J.
A 20-year NJCAA coaching veteran, Rich Corsetto guided two different programs to national prominence. In 1990 he took over as head coach of the men’s basketball program at Hudson County Community College (N.J.). Over a six year period he twice guided HCCC to the Division III national tournament (1991, 93). In 1996 he moved over to Passaic County Community College (N.J.) and guided the Panthers to the DIII national tournament in 2005 where they placed fourth.
When he retired in 2012 he had amassed an overall career record of 435-188 as a NJCAA head coach and won three NJCAA Region 19 Championships.
Corsetto was selected as the NJCAA Region 19 Coach of the Year on three occasions (1991, ’93, 2005) and was the New Jersey College Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1993.
A former basketball and baseball player at Harford Community College (Md.), Corsetto starred on both the basketball court and baseball field at the University of Southern Mississippi and was inducted into the USM Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997. He is one of just two athletes to be inducted for two sports – the other was Ray Guy. He was also a member of the inaugural class of the Harford CC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992.
Waubonsee Community College (Ill.)
Now in his 28th season as the head coach at Waubonsee Community College, Dave Heiss has built an impressive resume in the Division II ranks. He has led the Chiefs to the NJCAA Region 4 crown and a berth to the Division II national tournament five times (1991, 2000, ’08, ’10, ’11).
During the 2010-11 season, Heiss became the 51st coach in the history of NJCAA men’s basketball to eclipse 500 career victories. Entering the 2012-13 season, he boasted a career mark of 528-332.
Under Heiss, the Chiefs have won the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title 10 times and his teams have finished with 20 or more victories in 14 of his 27 seasons as head coach.
He has been inducted into the NJCAA Region 4 Hall of Fame (2006), the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame (2009) and the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame (2010). He also was selected as the IBCA and the Region 4 Basketball Coach of the Year five times, while the ISCC has tabbed him with that honor 10 times. In 2008 he became the ISCC’s all-time record holder for career wins.
Heiss was an accomplished athlete at Aurora West High School in Aurora, Ill., and played NJCAA basketball at Eastern Wyoming College from 1980-82. He then transferred to Bemidji State University (Minn.) and was a two-time All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference selection.
Odessa College (Texas)
Meridian Community College (Miss.)
Butler Community College (Kan.)
Crowder College (Mo.)
Iowa Western Community College
A legend in NJCAA basketball circles, Dennis Helms was an accomplished head coach that helped shape the careers of many famous players. Most known for his 16 seasons at the helm of the men’s basketball program at Odessa College (Texas), Helms also had successful stops at Meridian Community College (Miss.), Butler Community College (Kan.), Crowder College (Mo.) and Iowa Western Community College.
His first stint at Odessa was from 1986-96. During this time he led the Wranglers to four Western Junior College Athletic Conference (1988, ’89, ’93, ’94) titles, four Region 5 Championships (1988, ’89, ’90, ’93) and four appearances in the Division I national tournament (1988, ’89, ’90, ’93).
In 1997 he took over the men’s basketball program at Meridian Community College (Miss.) where he guided the Eagles to a two-year record of 49-19, including a fifth place finish in the 1999 Division I national tournament.
From 1999-2005 he led the Grizzlies of Butler Community College (Kan.). While at Butler, his 2000-01 team set a school record with 13 conference wins, on their way to winning the Kansas Jayhawk West Division for the first time since 1995.
Helms returned to Odessa in 2006 and led the Wranglers to 20 or more victories six times and a conference championship in 2008. He amassed a coaching record at Odessa of 426 wins and 124 losses.
Helms helped develop many future NBA players during his career, including three first round and three second round draft picks: Larry Johnson, (UNLV, 1990 #1 NBA Draft Pick), Alvin Robertson (Arkansas, 1984 #7 NBA Draft Pick), Tony Allen (Oklahoma State, 2004 #25 NBA Draft Pick), Rodney Dent (Kentucky, 1994 #32 NBA Draft Pick), Martin Norris (Auburn, #33 1996 NBA Draft Pick) and Ronald Murray (Shaw, 2002 #42 NBA Draft Pick).
In 32 years as an NJCAA head coach, Helms posted a career record of 724 wins and 279 losses. He is one of just 19 coaches in NJCAA history with over 700 victories.
About the NJCAA
Since 1938 the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. Now entering its 75th anniversary, the NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with over 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events and nine football bowl games. NJCAA Headquarters has been located in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 1985. For more information visit www.njcaa.org.