Thirty-one coaches have come and gone through the Oregon Ducks’ Football program, and on January 20th, 2013, a thirty-second coach was selected. Imagine taking over a program that has made it to a BCS game four years in a row after its coach unexpectedly left. Think of the pressure that immediately transferred to our new coach Mark Helfrich. It’s not like just any person can coach a nationally recognized collegiate division I program, let alone take over for the coach who ran the best four years of that program’s existence.
So what in the world was going through Oregon’s Athletic Director Rob Mullens’ mind when he decided to hire someone who had never been a head coach to take over the great Oregon Ducks program? Let’s take a look at Helfrich’s’s credentials. Coach Helfrich began his coaching career in 1997 as a graduate assistant at Oregon. He quickly moved on to Boise State, where he served as their quarterbacks coach from 1998-2000. His next two stops were Arizona State and Colorado between 2001-2008 where he also was the quarterbacks coach. He ended up back at Oregon from 2009-2012 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. So he has a lot of experience being a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. So what?
There’s a lot about Helfrich that fans don’t know. For example, did you know that Coach Helfrich won the national quarterbacks “Coach of the Year” award, both in 2010 and 2012 (both years when rookie quarterbacks were running the team’s offense)? And according to an inside source, he also had a lot of input on the fast paced Ducks offense, for which one hundred percent of the credit, on the outside, went to Chip.
Coach Heflrich has the tools and knowledge, and his success as a head coach will be evaluated once the season is over.