Oregon Promotes Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich to Head Coach
Oregon has promoted offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to fill the head coaching vacancy left by Chip Kelly, who surprised everyone by leaving the Ducks for the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to a source, the 39-year-old Helfrich will be announced as the Ducks new coach Sunday.
Helfrich's hiring was no surprise as he was the frontrunner to keep the job to continue Kelly's system. The Ducks also interviewed Stanford assistant Pep Hamilton Friday as part of the Ducks' search process but settled for Helfrich.
Helfrich was a quarterback at Southern Oregon in the early 1990s and got his start as a graduate assistant at Oregon in 1997 under Mike Bellotti, working closely with then Ducks offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
He followed Koetter to Boise State as quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000 before spending five seasons as quarterbacks coach at Arizona State (2001-2005) and three seasons in the same role at Colorado (2006-2008).
Helfrich returned to Oregon in 2009 when Kelly was promoted to head coach after Bellotti stepped down.
According to former Oregon quarterback Nate Costa, Helfrich has been seen as one of the unheralded stars in the Ducks' rise.
"This is Kelly's system, people know this, so they automatically think Helfrich has little input on what happens on Saturdays. This is simply not true," Costa said.
"Helfrich doesn't get half the credit he deserves. He is one of the smartest people in the college football world and has a great football mind," Costa added.
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