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Meet the Coaches 

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Head Coach Mike Helmer joined the Northside Lions organization in 2020. Coach Helmer enjoys teaching young men God's truth and uses football as the tool to accomplish that.  Coaching has been a ministry for him to spread the Gospel for over 25 years. Most of his coaching experience was in the Dallas area where he was fortunate enough to coach in 10 TAPPS state championship games being able to win 3 of them. Coach Helmer, after being an athletic director, teacher and coach for many years went into the business world two years ago.  His company (Game On!) transferred him to Houston in July 2019 and he currently lives in Spring with his wife Betty and stepdaughters, Jackie and Itzel. Coach Helmer has a daughter, Melody, who lives in Dallas and son, Mason, who is a student at Texas Tech. In 2021, Coach Helmer led the Lions to the TAIAO State Championship. His experience and knowledge of football and the college recruitment process will help the Northside Lions organization reach a level of excellence.

Mike has a Bachelor of Biblical Studies

and Minored in Coaching Techniques of

Football from Trinity Bible College.

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Junior High Assistant Coach/Varsity Assistant Coach Paul Zimmer returns in 2022 after 10 previous seasons on the Lions coaching staff. Coach Paul was the Head Coach Northside Lions Junior High (the first 2 years of the program), Head Coach Northside Lions Varsity (6 years), Head Coach Northside Lions Houston Select Spring Football League 2011, and the Board President from 2010 to 2019. Coach Paul took the Lions to the 2015 Texas Homeschool Division ll State Championship and also coached the 2016 NHFA Beach Bowl Champions.

Paul grew up a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the decade of The Steel Curtain and attended Penn State University during the Joe Paterno years. In 2006, after 10 years of active duty service as a United States Navy pilot and officer; Paul, his college sweetheart Kristen, and their 3 young homeschooled children were led to a sixty acre ranch in Willis, Texas. Here a homeschool gym class - “Zim Gym” - thrived for many years. When son Jake aged out of the local football program, he and a few regular attendees of Zim Gym needed a team.

In 2010 Paul and Kristen established the Northside Lions. From the beginning, the Lions coaches taught the rules of the eleven man game, but also prepared the players to be future Christ-centered men. God has always been the cornerstone of this football club. He is always the focus, the first stone that was laid 13 seasons ago! And now son Paul Zimmer is a first year player on the junior high team. And God continues to grow and bless the Northside Lions.

Coach Paul’s favorite football word is VALOR. His favorite characteristic of Jesus Christ is MEEKNESS.

“The Northside Lions teach our boys to become powerful young men of great courage in the face of worldly dangers (valor); men with control of their power and strength (meekness) through a personal walk with Jesus, our Lord and Savior.” -Coach Paul Zimmer

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Varsity Assistant Coach Mike Lum joined the Lions in 2020.  He is 52years old, has been married for over 30 years and has two children and four grandchildren.  He has over 20 years of coaching experience including a title in 11 man football and 2 titles in 6 man football.  His most famous saying has always been, “Honor God and he will honor you”.

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Junior High Head Coach Ryan Gundry, who also serves as an assistant varsity coach, joined the Northside Lions in 2020.  He and his wife, Cari, have 11 children.  As a boy, Ryan moved to Arlington, Texas, and quickly realized that football was the greatest sport ever invented. He has coached little league football for 19 years and during that time has been able to coach 9 of his children - including 3 daughters - in tackle football and loves helping young players learn and excel at football.  He believes that the lessons learned on the football field apply not only to sports, but to life in general.  Hard work, sacrifice, and teamwork all come together to make a good team great.  He is very grateful to be part of an organization that mixes football fundamentals and toughness with Christian values.  He believes praying before practice and games and holding Thursday devotions help us put Christ first and keep things in the proper perspective. 

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Varsity Assistant Coach Skip Mclean joined the Northside Lions organization in 2020.  He is retired from the Air Force after 22 1/2 years, reaching the rank of Master Sergeant.  During his service, he worked with the Special Olympics and is a Veterans Affairs supporter.  Instead of sitting still after retirement, he worked for nine years as a food service manager before retiring again.  Now that he is "semi-retired," he works part-time and volunteers as assistant coach.  The reason he coaches:

"I am a coach because of the kids and the passion I have for the sport itself.  There is no other feeling quite like helping young athletes further develop their natural persistence, determination, discipline, dedication, resiliency, work ethic, heart, leadership skills, connection with and respect for others, not only in competition, but in life!"

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Varsity Assistant Coach Mason Helmer joined the team in 2021.

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Shawn Jergenson joins The Northside Lions with 24 years of football coaching experience.  His coaching career began at his alma mater Friends University as a Defensive Back position coach.  After returning to his home state of Texas, he has had stints coaching at the high school and junior high levels in public, private and homeschool settings.  Shawn and his wife Kristi have been blessed with 8 children: Katie, Addy, Karston, Kohein, David, Josef, Remembrance(Mem) and Naomi.  Shawn looks forward to joining the Northside families in mentoring, training and motivating boys to become godly men through the game of football.  Not to mention winning a few games in the process.

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Varsity Assistant Coach Kristian Magar joined the team in 2022.

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Varsity Assistant Coach David Kearney joined the team in 2020.

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Junior High Assistant Coach Greg Buonincontri joined the team in 2021.

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