Helms Athletic Foundation
The Helms Athletic Foundation was an athletic foundation based in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1936 by Bill Schroeder and Paul Helms. The foundation selected national champion teams and make All-America team selections in a number of college sports, including football and basketball. The organization continued to vote on a national champion until 1982. It also retroactively ranked football teams dating back to the 1883 season and basketball back to the 1900–01 season. The Helms Foundation also operated a hall of fame for both college sports. Selections prior to 1936 are often disputed as many of them are not derived from actual head-to-head competition and rely on historical documents to interpret champions.
Besides collegiate athletics, the Foundation operated halls of fame for professional football, Major League Baseball, the Pacific Coast League, basketball, fencing, golf, tennis, swimming, auto racing, and track and field.
After Paul Helms' death in 1957, United Savings and Loan became the Helms Foundation's benefactor and when United merged with Citizen Savings Bank in 1973, the Athletic Foundation became known as the Citizens Savings Athletic Foundation. It was again renamed in 1982 when First Interstate Bank assumed sponsorship for the foundation's final year. Paul Helms started Helms Bakery in Southern California, which was the official bread (Helms Olympic bread) of the 1932 Olympics. Helms Hall was located on 8760 Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The Helms Olympics neon sign still can be seen on top of the building.
From 1939, when the NCAA Tournament started, the Helms and NCAA Division I champions were the same, except for 1939, 1940, 1944, and 1954 when Oregon, Indiana, Utah, and La Salle respectively won the tournament. Some schools claim a Helms nomination as a national championship.
- "Twenty-One Greats to be Enshrined in PCL Hall of Fame". Pacific Coast League. Retrieved 2007-01-17.