|Dave Helming '64|
Class of 2010
It is one thing to be good at two different sports at the college level. It is quite an accomplishment to be a record-setting performer in two sports—a feat accomplished by Dave Helming.
Helming began his basketball career with a standout season on the junior varsity. During the 1960-61 campaign, he led all players with a 14.6 points-per-game scoring average. The Bristol, Conn., native broke onto the varsity team as a sophomore and began to show his skills on the glass. He averaged 5.0 rebounds a game and sparked the Engineers to an overtime win over Suffolk.
Rebounding was a key ingredient to the 1962-63 team and Helming played a big role for the Crimson and Gray. The junior did his part, averaging 5.4 boards per game as the team corralled an average of 46.4 caroms per contest. The winter saw its share of huge WPI victories, including a scintillating 71-66 upset of Springfield, a team that was ranked second in New England and later in the season knocked off powerful Holy Cross in the Worcester Auditorium.
Helming really flourished as a senior under headcoach Charlie McNulty. During the 1963-64 season he posted career-bests of 11.9 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. He was part of a balanced, yet potent, offensive attack that featured fellow double figure scorers Dave LaRue and Hall of Famers Bill Nims, Larry Penoncello.
“I had the privilege of playing basketball with Dave in both high school (Bristol Eastern) and college,” commented Penoncello. “Dave was well respected by his peers because he would never be outworked by anyone in either practice or a game.”
Arguably, Helming’s best game came in mid-February in a 91-85 home victory against Coast Guard. Helming poured in 26 points and gobbled up a jaw-dropping 26 rebounds in the win over the Bears. The rebounding total set the new single school record and he became just the second person in the history of the WPI program to register a 20-20 game.“
Dave never wanted attention directed towards him,” noted Steve Hebert, a Harrington Award recipient. “In fact, ‘Moose’ worked hard to make others look good.”
Helming did not limit himself to setting records on the basketball court. A four-year participant for track and field, he served as team captain in 1964 and set the new school record in javelin, launching it over 186 feet.
He graduated from WPI in 1964 with a degree in civil engineering. He returned to Tech in 1965 and obtained a master's degree in civil engineering. During his graduate year, he served as WPI's assistant varsity basketball coach and also coached the JV team.
Following his years at WPI, Helming first worked at his father's construction company and then entered the US Army where he served nearly three years in the Corps of Engineers until his discharge as a 1st Lieutenant in 1969. He then began a 38-year career with the Public Service Enterprise Group in New Jersey, holding a number of senior management positions until his retirement in 2007.
Dave and his wife, Peggy, reside in Flemington, New Jersey. They have been active in breeding and exhibiting Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water Dogs for approximately 40 years, along with participating in many clubs dedicated to dog-related activities.