It seems as though the University of Oregon is creating history left and right, lately! First we have Marcus Mariota who is soon to be awarded the Heisman (seemingly), we have multiple other players winning all kinds of different awards and now we have a former head coach of our Ducks being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Mike Bellotti coached at the University of Oregon beginning in 1989 as the offensive coordinator until 1995, when he became the head coach for the next 14 years. As of today, December 9, 2014, Bellotti will be inducted into the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class. Bellotti like, our beloved Mariota, set many milestones in his time at Oregon. Thanks to GoDucks.com there is a great biography on Bellotti, here is a quick summarization of some of his accomplishments in his time at Oregon:
- Bellotti guided Oregon to the No. 2 ranking in the country and a Fiesta Bowl win following the 2001 season.
- He led the school to 12 bowl appearances in his 14 years as head coach.
- He tailed eight or more wins in a single season nine times.
- He accumulated the second-most victories (116) of any program in the Pac-10.
- He has overseen a team that has finished among the nation’s Top-25 six times in the past 10 seasons.
This morning Mike Bellotti was interviewed for the National Football Foundation about what it means to be accepted into such an amazing piece of College Football and his response was heart-warming. Bellotti said thank you and that it is an honor to be here and extremely pleasing but more than that, humbling.
“I think as a coach you recognize you’re there because of all the people involved. Every single player that ever played for you, every single coach that you worked with, that stole an idea from, gained knowledge from, every administrator or booster that said, ‘Yes, I believe in this young man, I’m going to entrust our program to him,’ those are the things that humble me.” Bellotti’s response comes at no-surprise, it seems as though Oregon has a habit of producing great people. Much like Mariota, he is humble in receiving this honor and openly gracious to the people that helped him through all of those years.
Just because he was being asked about is accomplishments and the team when he was the head coach doesn’t mean that the current status of our Ducks couldn’t still be discussed! Bellotti said, “But Oregon’s offense is practically unstoppable. There’s some issues about defense they’ll have to overcome for this game, but I think it’s a great matchup and one I’m going to be excited to see.” Once a Duck, always a Duck, right?
Congratulations to the coach that truly started the running of success 19 years ago for the University of Oregon’s football program. I can only imagine how many more successful coaches and players of the University of Oregon will be welcomed into such a huge part of college football in the years to come!
Top Photo by John Giustina