Ducks fans are very aware of the profound impact that former Head Coach Chip Kelly had on the program during his short tenure. The fast paced offense, the motto “Fast, Hard, Finish,” or “Win the Day.” What most people don’t know about Kelly is that he was a man of few words, and always chose to appreciate the work of others. He looked to others for inspiration, and ultimately, built his knowledge of life and figured out a way to apply those teachings to his ways of Football.
Phillymag.com recently published an article, describing a story of Kelly, and his involvement with a funeral back in 2010 for Army Sergeant Joshua Lengstorf. Lengstorf lost his life in Afghanistan serving the United States and was a resident of Roseburg, Oregon.
Kelly was on a flight back to Eugene, when he met a man who had been close friends with the late Army Sergeant. They got to talking, and Kelly realized how incredible a man Lengstorf was. The city of Roseburg planned a funeral service for the Army veteran. Kelly, who had not planned on going, simply because he did not know about it prior, decided he would attend the services out of respect for the young man who had given his life protecting the freedom of our country. After all, Lengstorf was a huge Oregon Ducks fan, even sporting an Oregon tattoo on his arm.
This funeral, and the lessons Kelly learned, mark one of the most significant days in Oregon football history. It was said, that after this service, Kelly started structuring his life around the morals and values that the military instills within its men and women. Kelly took trips with the USO to visit troops overseas, as part of his learning process. Kelly started implementing the lessons he learned to his daily life, and figured out a way to translate those lessons to football.
Players remember Kelly implementing military-style training into practice. ”It definitely taught me a life lesson,” said Josh Huff, former Oregon wide receiver and now with the Philadelphia Eagles. “It teaches you teamwork and what it’s like to have your life in in another person’s hands, or someone else’s life in your hands,” via Phillymag.com.
Oregon has been considered a good football school with a very recognizable logo. People were looking for the program to turn the corner. The moment where Chip Kelly attended Joshua Lengstorf’s funeral, proved to be the defining moment in Oregon Football history.
FishDuck.com, and Oregon fans alike would like to thank Joshua Lengstorf, and all other military men and women for their service.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline