Bellotti reacts to former pupil Petersen taking UW job

When Mark Helfrich was named Oregon’s head coach last year, Chris Petersen was among the first of his peers to make a congratulatory phone call.

“Chris had the best line,” Helfrich told me last February when I was working for another newspaper and visiting Eugene for a basketball game. “He said, ‘Congratulations and condolences.’ ”

Now Helfrich and his friend are rivals in the North Division of the Pac-12. Petersen accepted the Washington job today after compiling a gaudy 92-12 record over eight seasons at Boise State.

This morning I spoke with former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, who hired Petersen as his wide receivers coach in 1995.

“I’m happy for Chris and I’m happy for Washington,” Bellotti said. “That’s a job he has talked about and been interested in for the last five to seven years. Timing in life is everything. Boise is a great job, and he did a great job while he was there. He built a lot of the national reputation Boise has. I think this was finally the right opportunity.”

Bellotti said he is already “over the shock” of seeing a former pupil wearing purple. One of his former players at Oregon, Justin Wilcox, is Washington’s defensive coordinator and was Petersen’s defensive coordinator during the Broncos’ two Fiesta Bowl wins at Boise State.

It will be interesting to see if Petersen is able to retain Wilcox or if Wilcox pursues a head coaching opportunity, maybe even at Boise State.

“I think Justin is very close to being a head coach,” Bellotti said. “Who knows what Justin wants. But he has been very successful. When I thought about coaching again, he would have been my defensive coordinator. I didn’t pull the trigger, but he was ready to go.”

Print Friendly

 Volunteer Position Openings:

  • Basketball Writer: Do you know the game and love to think about the upcoming season for our beloved Ducks?  Write about them!  It's fun doing homework on a winner!
  • Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.
  • College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.
  • Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.
  • All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

FishDuck Staff

FishDuck Staff

These are articles where the writer just had a few, or for some reason did not want their name on it any longer--so we assigned it to "staff." We are grateful to all the writers who contributed to the site through these articles.