Oregon: Ducks expected to promote Helfrich
With Signing Day a little more than two weeks away, Oregon is expected to move quickly in promoting offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich as head coach.
It was announced earlier today that Kelly would become the Philadelphia Eagles head coach.
The 39-year old Helfrich spent the past four seasons under Kelly’s tutelage. Though he did not have play-calling responsibility, Helfrich is considered Kelly’s right-hand man offensively and is intimately involved in game-planning.
Athletic director Rob Mullens has had plenty of time to think through a plan. This time last year, Kelly informed school officials that he was taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job. Within a few hours, Duck officials had decided to promote Helfrich before Kelly changed his mind.
Last year’s practice run could come now. According to a recent USA Today report, sources at Oregon say Helfrich’s hire could be made within 72 hours of Kelly’s departure.
Helfrich has strong ties to Oregon – both the state and the university.
A native of Coos Bay, Ore., Helfrich was a record-setting quarterback at Southern Oregon University, an NAIA school in Asland. After graduating from SOU in 1995, Helfrich served as Southern Oregon’s first-ever Graduate Assistant in 1996. He then moved to Austria to be player/coach for the Vienna Vikings in the winter of 1997. When Helfrich returned to the U.S., Mike Belottti offerred him the chance to became G.A. at Oregon (1997) and he jumped at the opportunity.
Following a season at Oregon, Helfrich would spend the next 11 seasons tutoring quarterbacks at the FBS (Division I) level.
At Oregon, Helfrich worked closely with then OU offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. When Koetter was hired as head coach at Boise State in 1998, Helfrich followed to coach quarterbacks and again when Koetter was hired at Arizona State in 2001.
In 2006, Helfrich was hired by Dan Hawkins at Colorado, and served as offensive coordinator there until he joined Kelly’s staff at Oregon in 2009.