Meet Mark Helfrich and the Chicago Bears' Offensive Assistants

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Meet Mark Helfrich and the Chicago Bears’ Offensive Assistants

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears kick things off in 2018 with an appearance in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. Earlier in the offseason, we got to know Matt Nagy the head coach candidate – and eventually – the head coach. And after boning up on the players and their respective groups, we figured now would be a good time to get to know the coaches who will be working under Nagy and with different positions around the gridiron. 

Previous: None.

Today: Offensive coaches

Offensive Coordinator

Mark Helfrich

Helfrich’s Coaching Experience

  • 1998-2000 Boise State (Quarterbacks)
  • 2001-05 Arizona State (Quarterbacks, 2001-05; Passing Game Coordinator 2003-05)
  • 2006-08 Colorado (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach)
  • 2009-16 Oregon (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach 2009-12; Head Coach 2013-16)

Notable Coaches Worked For…

  • Dirk Koetter (1998-2005)
  • Chip Kelly (2009-16)

Why He’s Here

Helfrich has 15 years of experience as a quarterbacks coach, seven as an offensive coordinator, and four as a head coach at the collegiate level. So while the biggest knock on the Helfrich hire is a glaring lack of NFL coaching experience, the hope is that a well-schooled quarterback instructor can aid and accelerate Mitch Trubisky’s development. Helfrich won’t be calling plays once games of consequence get underway, but his presence should help provide translation of the spread concepts into the pro-style West Coast base that Andy Reid and his assistants who become head coaches have been known to run.

Meet The Assistants

Dave Ragone, Quarterbacks

  • Coaching Experience: Washington Redskins (Offensive quality control, 2015), Tennessee Titans (Wide receivers, 2011-12; Quarterbacks, 2013)
  • Fun Fact: Was a three-time honorable mention All-American and three-time Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year while at Louisville. He also worked with Sean McVay while in Washington.

Charles London, Running Backs

  • Coaching Experience: Houston Texans (Running backs 2014-17), Penn State University (Running backs, 2012-13), Tennessee Titans (Offensive assistant/quality control, 2011), Chicago Bears (Offensive quality control assistant, 2007-09), Duke University (Running backs, 2006)
  • Fun Fact: In addition to his duties as a position coach at Penn State, London was also recruiting coordinator at the same time Allen Robinson was a wide receiver for the Nittany Lions.

Mike Furrey, Receivers

  • Coaching Experience: Kentucky Christian University (Head Coach, 2011-12), Marshall (Wide Receivers, 2013-15), Limestone College (Head Coach, 2016-17)
  • Fun Fact: Finished second in the NFL with 98 catches in 2006, a year in which he picked up 1,086 receiving yards, and six touchdowns, which surely helped someone win a fantasy league.

Kevin M. Gilbride, Tight Ends

  • Coaching Experience: New York Giants (Offensive quality control assistant, 2010-11; Wide receivers, 2012-13; Tight ends, 2014-17), Temple (Wide receivers, 2007-09); Georgetown (Slot receiver/tight ends, 2006); Syracuse (Offensive graduate assistant, 2003-05)
  • Fun Fact: Is the son of Kevin B. Gilbride, who coached in the NFL from 1989-2013).

Harry Hiestand, Offensive Line

  • Coaching Experience: Notre Dame (Offensive line, 2012-17), Tennessee (Offensive line, 2010-11), Chicago Bears (Offensive line, 2005-09), Illinois (Offensive line, 1997-04; Assistant head coach 2000-04), Missouri (Offensive line 1994-96), Cincinnati (Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, 1989-93), Toledo (Offensive line (1988-89), Southern California (Graduate assistant, 1987-88); Penn (Tight ends, 1986-87)
  • Fun Fact: Olin Kreutz (2005, 2006) and Ruben Brown (2006) were Pro Bowl performers while playing for Hiestand during his first stint with the Bears. Coached four first-round offensive linemen (Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey, Ronnie Stanley, Zack Martin) while at Notre Dame.

Donovan Raiola, Assistant Offensive Line

  • Coaching Experience: Aurora University (Offensive line, 2017), Notre Dame (Graduate assistant, 2015-16), University of Hawaii (Intern, 2014)
  • Fun Fact: Earned honorable mention All-Big Ten as an offensive lineman while at Wisconsin. Is the younger brother of retired NFL center Dominic Raiola.

Mike Snyder, Offensive Quality Control

  • Coaching Experience: Wingate (2012-15), Coastal Carolina (2015-17)
  • Fun Fact: Also coached baseball as an assistant at the high school level

Brian Ginn, Offensive Quality Control

  • Coaching Experience: University of Delaware (Wide Receivers, 2001, 2006-07, 2009-13; Running backs, 2002-05; Offensive coordinator, 2008; Passing game coordinator, 2009-12; Quarterbacks, 2008, 2014-15), Tight ends, 2016).
  • Fun Fact: Was teammates with Nagy at Delaware in 1999 and threw for 997 yards and six touchdowns as a backup quarterback.

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.