Oregon has had some pretty exciting offenses over the years, and those offenses have been led by some of the best minds in the business. Some Duck offensive coordinators have had relatively unremarkable careers after leaving Oregon, others went on to great accomplishments. Several years ago, I wrote an article on the offensive coordinators who coached at Oregon prior to Mike Bellotti. It’s now time to update fans on those coordinators who served Oregon after Bellotti was elevated to head coach.
When Bellotti became the head coach in 1995 he hired Al Borges as his first offensive coordinator. Borges had spent the previous seven seasons coaching at Portland State. In his only season at Oregon, Borges’s offense finished second to USC in the conference, and the Ducks notched a 9-3 record. Following his season at Oregon, Borges move on to coordinate UCLA’s offense, with subsequent coaching stops at Cal, Indiana, Auburn, San Diego State, Michigan, and San Jose State. His last coaching job was at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he served as offensive coordinator in 2018.
Bellotti’s next hire for this role was Dirk Koetter. Koetter had spent the previous two seasons as offensive coordinator at Boston College. Koetter served the Ducks for the 1996 and 1997 seasons. From Oregon, Koetter moved on to head coaching jobs at Boise State and Arizona State. After 2007, Koetter worked in the NFL as an offensive coordinator for Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay and eventually as the Buccaneers’ head coach from 2016 to 2018.
Jeff Tedford replaced Koetter as offensive coordinator in 1998 after previously been serving as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Fresno State. Tedford filled the same role with Oregon until 2002 when he was named head coach at California. Tedford left Cal in 2012 and made stops at Tampa Bay, the CFL’s B.C. Lions, and the Washington Redskins. In 2017, Tedford returned to Fresno State as the head coach turned that program around in two seasons. He retired following the 2019 season.
Tedford was followed by Andy Ludwig, who had been Fresno State’s offensive coordinator before joining Oregon’s staff. As I recall, some fans were lukewarm toward Ludwig’s offense, and after leaving Oregon following in 2004 season he ran offenses at Utah, California, San Diego State, Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt. He is currently Utah’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, and by all accounts has done a fine job for the Utes.
Ludwig’s departure ushered in the era of Gary Crowton as the head of Oregon’s offense. Crowton had been BYU’s head coach from 2001-2004. Following his stint at Oregon, Crowton went on to LSU, where he won a national championship with Nick Saban in 2007. Crowton left LSU in 2011 and moved through posts at Maryland, the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Southern Utah, Oregon State, and Stephen F. Austin. Crowton is currently the offensive coordinator for Pine View High School in St. George, Utah.
Next up was Chip Kelly, who requires little in the way of introduction. Kelly had been New Hampshire’s offensive coordinator from 1999 to 2006. After two seasons as Belloti’s offensive coordinator, Kelly was promoted to head coach, where he had well- documented success. Kelly bolted for the greener pastures of the NFL following the 2012 season, but after four lackluster seasons in the NFL he returned to the college ranks as head coach at UCLA. He has certainly not enjoyed the success he had at Oregon, an outcome Fishduck.com writers predicted here and here.
Kelly’s replacement as offensive coordinator for the Ducks was Mark Helfrich, who had previously been Colorado’s offensive coordinator. When Kelly left for the NFL, Helfrich was elevated to the head coaching job. After nearly repeating Kelly’s success from 2012 to 2015, the program fell on hard times, and Helfrich was fired after posting a 4-8 record in 2016. After leaving Oregon, Helfrich spent 2017 as a Fox Sports analyst, and 2018 to 2019 as the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.
Scott Frost originally came to Oregon as the wide receivers coach in 2009 and was promoted to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2013, a position he held through 2015. Frost was then hired as head coach at Central Florida, where he had great success, beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl on the way to a 13-0 record in his second season. Success with the Knights earned him the head job at his alma mater Nebraska, where he has had mixed success in turning the program around following Mike Riley’s departure.
With Frost’s departure, Matt Lubick was promoted to offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach. Ludwig had come to Oregon from Duke in 2013 was initially the passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach. Lubick spent one year in this position with the Ducks, leaving for Washington in 2016 after Willie Taggart’s housecleaning. After spending two seasons with the hated Huskies, Lubick has been reunited with Scott Frost in Lincoln as the Huskers’ offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach.
Next, we had co-offensive coordinators in 2017, with Mario Cristobal joined the staff from Alabama, and Marcus Arroyo coming to the Ducks from Oklahoma State. In that 2017 season, Cristobal also coached the offensive line, and Arroyo handled the quarterbacks and tight ends. Cristobal was promoted to head coach after Willie Taggart quit on the Ducks, and Arroyo became the sole offensive coordinator as well as associate head coach in 2019. Arroyo landed the head coach job at UNLV in December 2019 but stayed on with the Ducks through the Rose Bowl, helping them to a thrilling 29-28 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Our newest offensive coordinator is Joe Moorhead, fresh off a head coaching stint at Mississippi State. Let’s hope he continues the great tradition of offensive coordinators for Our Beloved Ducks!
Top Photo by Kevin Cline
Brad Nye, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a land conservation attorney in Central Oregon.
Jim currently resides in Ellensburg, Washington where he has had the opportunity to watch former Ducks such as NaDerris Ward and Scott Grady play for Central Washington University, Jim’s alma mater. However, Jim was born in Eugene and attended Howard Elementary School, and what then called Colin Kelly Junior High School before moving to Washington. Jim began following the Ducks during the 1957 season and had the opportunity to watch a number of games at Hayward Field. Over the years, Jim has developed a wealth of knowledge about Oregon sports history. When not editing on Fanbase.com or working in his garden, Jim manages to find time to practice law.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is GONE and NOT Returning
The forum took more of my time during the day than I ever could have imagined. And dealing with the Rule-Breakers is a hassle I no longer wish to engage in.
Comments below the articles at FishDuck.com will be available as long as people behave.
Our rules have not changed and can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
Articles will be published on: Sunday-Monday-Wednesday-Friday.