Originally posted on finnaly  |  Last updated 1/20/13
Report: Ducks pick Helfrich as coach   pdated Jan 20, 2013 2:29 PM ET

Oregon hired Mark Helfrich as its football coach Sunday, promoting him from offensive coordinator to be Chip Kelly's successor.

 

 

 

Two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed the decision to The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had not announced it. The school scheduled an afternoon news conference. The move was first reported by CBSSports.com.

Kelly stepped down at Oregon on Wednesday to coach the Philadelphia Eagles. Helfrich's promotion does not come as a surprise. Before Kelly left for the NFL, the offensive coordinator was considered the front-runner for the position.

The Ducks also promoted wide receivers coach Scott Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback, to offensive coordinator, according to those who spoke with the AP.

Oregon, ranked No. 2 in the final AP Top 25, went 12-1 this season capped by a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Helfrich is from Oregon and was appointed offensive coordinator of the Ducks when Kelly took over four seasons ago. The Ducks have appeared in BCS bowls each of those four years, including an appearance in the national championship game against Auburn in 2011.

Before joining the Ducks, the 39-year old Helfrich was quarterbacks coach at Colorado from 2006-08.

Kelly came to the Ducks in 2007 as offensive coordinator under coach Mike Bellotti and is credited with creating Oregon's innovative hurry-up spread offense. Kelly went 46-7 at Oregon.

It had been widely expected that Kelly would jump to the NFL, leaving many surprised when he announced he was staying at Oregon after interviewing with Philadelphia, Cleveland and Buffalo following the Fiesta Bowl. Nine days later, however, he changed his mind and decided to go to the Eagles.

Just hours after Kelly's departure was announced, Oregon posted a job for a new head coach on its website. Under state law, Oregon was required to interview at least one qualified minority candidate for the job.

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said at the time that Oregon had already started the process of naming a replacement for Kelly following the Fiesta Bowl. He had set no timeline for replacing Kelly, except to say the Ducks would ''move as fast as we can.''

''We had already done a lot of groundwork, we had already started the process, knowing that Chip was going to be talking to the Eagles, Bills and Browns. We had geared up our process. We had obviously shut it down, but it's easy to click right back on.''

At the time, Mullens also said there were internal candidates, but there was ''no leader in the clubhouse.''

Former Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton acknowledged Saturday that he interviewed with Oregon before he was hired by the Indianapolis Colts' to be their offensive coordinator.

Helfrich becomes the third straight offensive coordinator Oregon has promoted to head coach. Bellotti took over following Rich Brooks' departure.

Not much is expected to change under Helfrich, who is himself following Kelly's ''Next Man In'' philosophy.

As offensive coordinator, Helfrich has been in charge of Oregon's quarterbacks, guiding both Darron Thomas and redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota.

This season Mariota set the team's single-season record with 38 touchdowns (32 passing, 5 rushing, 1 receiving), surpassing the previous mark of 36 held by Thomas (2011) and Akili Smith (1998).

The first freshman named to the Pac-12's all-conference first team in 23 years, Mariota passed for 2,739 yards, completing a school-record 68.5 percent of his passes. He had 3,429 yards of total offense, second only to Smith's 3,947 in 1998.

Thomas, his predecessor, passed for 2,761 yards and a school-record 33 passing touchdowns his junior season last season despite missing a game because of an injury. He left school with a year of eligibility remaining in hopes of playing in the NFL but went undrafted.

Frost, 38, came to Oregon in 2009 after serving as an assistant at Northern Iowa. He played seven seasons in the NFL after leading the Huskers to the national title over Tennessee in the 1997 Orange Bowl.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jay Cutler garnering 'zero' interest around NFL

Paul Millsap to opt out of contract, become free agent

Martellus Bennett calls out NFL to do more to build up communities

NBA disciplines Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez for fighting

Jason Day tearfully withdraws from PGA event to be with ailing mother

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Matt Barnes on Derek Fisher chants: ‘I’m sick of that s—’

Brent Musburger admits he once bet on a game he broadcasted

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks will run triangle ‘exclusively’ next season

Reese Witherspoon to speak to women’s gathering at NFL owners meetings

Doug Gottlieb will interview for Oklahoma State job

Aaron Hernandez trial put on hold as jury questioned about Reddit-related comment

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Box Score 3/21: WBC semis are bat-flipping fun

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

NBA Western Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

MLB players most likely to break out in 2017

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Eat, Drink, Watch: A weekend of March Madness and more

The 'Who will ruin your glorious bracket this year?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker