Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oregon chooses OC Mark Helfrich to be Kelly's successor

Mark Helfrich (photo courtesy
EUGENE - To anyone following west coast college football, Chip Kelly's successor at Oregon should not be an unusual choice.

Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich was named as Kelly's replacement early Sunday morning. Oregon will officially announce the promotion Sunday afternoon, and will continue Oregon's penchant for staying inside the family with hiring choices.

Another candidate for the job, former Stanford OC Pep Hamilton, was hired to be Chuck Pagano's OC with the Indianapolis Colts.

Kelly was in the middle of a coaching carousel soap opera, turning down the Cleveland job to stay in Eugene. Kelly surprised everyone when he turned around and took the Philadelphia Eagles' vacant coaching position. I guess the Cleveland job really IS that bad.

That reversal opened the door for the 39-yr old Helfrich, whom many said from the beginning would replace Kelly - maybe even being talked about for over a year. Helfrich had been Kelly's OC for the last four seasons.

Helfrich will be the third consecutive Oregon offensive coordinator that went on to become the Ducks' head coach. Kelly took over for Mike Bellotti in 2009, and before that, Bellotti was Rich Brooks' successor in 1995.

The HQ is also hearing that wide receivers coach Scott Frost will be promoted to offensive coordinator.

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