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Spartans' Helmandollar resigns post after initial season leading the Hilhi team

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Hillsboro head coach Jon Helmandollar during an OSAA football game against St. Helens at Hare Field on Sept. 29.A year after losing head coach Adam Reese to controversy and roughly six months since securing his replacement, the Hilhi Spartans are again looking for a head football coach.

Jon Helmandollar, who came to Hillsboro via Springfield High School, informed his coaching staff after a end-of-year banquet Nov. 19 — and his players a day later — that he'd be resigning immediately due to undisclosed personal issues. Helmandollar will remain as a teacher at Hilhi but will not return to coaching.

"We understand and it's an unfortunate situation, but we support him and understand he needs to take care of his family right now," said Hillsboro Athletic Director Steve Drake. "We'll have our position posted and do a thorough search with the idea of finding a quality candidate."

The Spartans struggled in their first season under Helmandollar, finishing 2-7 overall and 2-5 in Northwest Oregon Conference play, placing sixth in the league and missing the postseason. The first-year coach, who played his college football at Boise State under University of Washington head coach Chris Peterson, was dealt a difficult hand, having to replace the bulk of the starters from a team that finished 5-5 last season and lost to Lebanon in the first round of the OSAA state playoffs.

Now Hillsboro is tasked with finding a new coach for a second time in less than 12 months.

"Certainly it's not ideal, but we have the intention of interviews occurring sometime in May," said Drake, "with the idea of securing a coach who can not only coach, but teach in our building."

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