High School Football

Columbia High football coach resigns following Amber Alert incident in March

Former Boise State running back Jon Hellmandollar is entering his first season as Columbia’s head coach.
Former Boise State running back Jon Hellmandollar is entering his first season as Columbia’s head coach. mlycklama@idahostatesman.com

Columbia High School football coach Jon Helmandollar has resigned, according to an email that was sent to parents and provided by the Nampa School District.

Helmandollar was investigated for child endangerment following an incident in March, according to the Spokesman-Review. Helmandollar’s daughter, Alissa, went missing with her mother, Brooke, causing an Amber Alert to be sent out by police. The two were found in Cheney, Washington, and Brooke was arrested, the Spokesman-Review reported. The girl was unharmed.

At the time, Nampa police said they feared that Alissa could be in danger due to “Brooke’s recent threatening behavior towards Alissa.”

The Spokesman-Review reported that Helmandollar “repeatedly did not express concern for his daughter’s safety during the investigation” and that he allegedly lied to police about his wife’s whereabouts, per court records. When informed of the Amber Alert, he allegedly told police, “That’s not going to make me look good.”

Columbia Athletic Director Randy Potter told the Statesman that March’s incident was “part of” Helmandollar’s reason for resigning.

“We were happy with the job Jon did with our kids,” Potter said in a phone interview. “Jon’s got some personal things that he needs to take care of.”

Assistants are currently running the football program, Potter said. The head coaching position has been posted online and the school hopes to make a hire as soon as next week, Potter said.

The Statesman reached out to Helmandollar for comment Thursday but he had not yet returned a phone call. An email announcing his resignation was sent to parents Wednesday evening:

“I am emailing to let you know that Coach Helmandollar submitted a letter of resignation today. We appreciate the time Coach Helmandollar invested in our student-athletes at Columbia High School and hope the best for him. We understand many of you may be concerned about next steps and we want to assure you that our No. 1 priority is to move forward quickly to find a replacement to lead our football and track programs,” the letter read. “ ... In the meantime, we are meeting with our coaches to ensure that our student athletes are able to continue to participate in spring football activities.”

Helmandollar was hired as Columbia’s head coach in January 2018. He played running back at Boise State from 2004-2007 before he was dismissed following a DUI arrest.

Brooke Helmandollar was charged with criminal mistreatment after police said they discovered that she planned to inject her daughter and herself with bleach to “rid themselves of parasites,” the Spokesman-Review reported.

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