[dropcap]O[/dropcap]regon has named offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich as head coach. Helfrich replaces Chip Kelly, who last week left to become the Philadelphia Eagles coach.
The 39-year old Helfrich spent the past four seasons under Kelly’s tutelage. Though he did not have play-calling responsibility, Helfrich was considered Kelly’s right-hand man offensively and was intimately involved in game-planning.
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.