Rebecca Helt is in her 17th season as head coach of the women's tennis team, and she also serves as Bucknell's coordinator of tennis. Helt enters the 2014 spring campaign with a 175-162 record as women's tennis coach, leaving her just six wins shy of the program record, set by Hall-of-Famer Rose Ewan.
Helt led the Bison women's squad to six consecutive Patriot League championship matches between 2005 and 2010, while in 2008 the men finished above .500 for the first time since 2002.
Helt also served as Bucknell's head men's tennis coach from 2002-13 after the operations of the Bison tennis programs were consolidated. Perhaps the highlight of her coaching career came last season when she led Gregg Cohenca and Evan Zimmer to the NCAA Championships in doubles for the first time both Bucknell and Patriot League history.
During her career, Helt has coached 22 All-Patriot League singles players, two conference players of the year and two rookie of the year selections. Current Bison Maria Cioffi and Nick Bybel garnered Patriot League Rookie of the Year accolades in 2013. Additionally 2011 graduate and all-time wins leader Lauren Lucido was a First Team All-Patriot League choice in her senior campaign, becoming only the second Bison player to earn honors four times in her career. Also topping Helt's list of multi-year selections are Tania Varela, Bucknell's first four-time honoree and the 2010 conference player of the year, as well as Paulina Gamboa (2007-09), Veronica Brown (2005-06), Dumitrita Iepuras (2009-10, 2012) and Nada Curcic (2004-05). Curcic also became the first Patriot League Player of the Year in the history of the program in 2005.
Ira Reibeisen, who ranks second on Bucknell's all-time men's wins list, earned three consecutive First Team All-Patriot League honors, the first Bison to ever accomplish that feat.
Helt also coached one all-league doubles team in Kerry Callaghan and Kristin Inglis, while Callaghan was also an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2000. Helt also had the opportunity to coach a Patriot League Sportsmanship Award winner, Asher Salam.
A 1990 graduate of Lock Haven University, Helt earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism while competing for the Lock Haven tennis team. Following her college graduation, Helt earned a teaching certification from the United States Professional Tennis Registry and began teaching part time while working for STEP, Inc., in its wilderness-based team building program.
In 1994, Helt was hired as the assistant pro at West Branch Racquet Club in Williamsport, Pa. She continued her duties at West Branch while coaching the girls' tennis team at Williamsport High School.
Two years later, Helt was hired at the Doylestown Racquet Club in Doylestown, Pa. She has won three different raquetball state championships. Helt took over the women's coaching reins at Bucknell in 1997, and in 2002 she was named the Bison men's coach as well. Helt is also involved in tennis on the national level as an NCAA chair for women's tennis.
Helt continues her involvement in the game outside of Bucknell's program, including receiving a generous grant from USTA to promote tennis in the local community. Helt also volunteers during the summer as a Special Olympics sport advisor, where she works with various events.