The Oregon Ducks will now be on their second head coach in the post-Chip Kelly era. The University of Oregon fired head coach Mark Helfrich after his four seasons as head coach with the program. Helfirich led the Oregon Ducks to a 37-16 record in his tenure, but the program took a huge decline this year with their 4-8 record, their worst since 2004. Oregon football suffered an embarrassing 34-24 loss to their inter-state rival Oregon State, which sealed Heflrich’s destiny.
University of Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens issued the following statement, “We want to thank Mark for his eight years with the University of Oregon and appreciate his efforts on his behalf of Oregon football. We wish Mark and his family the best.”
Helfrich served as the Ducks’ offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly and took over as head coach once Kelly left Oregon for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. Under Kelly, Oregon football tickets were the hottest ticket in football, but that is no longer the case. Helfirch made a National Championship Game appearance in 2014, but many view that as Helfrich succeeding with Kelly’ players. The Ducks lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes 42-20 in the championship game.
This season, the Ducks started 2-0, but then went on a five-game skid including two close losses to Wisconsin and Colorado. In Helfrich’s statement he said, “It is a great honor to have served as the head football coach at the University of Oregon. Plain and simple, we didn’t win enough games this season. The future is bright for this young, talented team, as we will be supporting them and their new leadership.”
Helfrich is the first Oregon head football to be fired in 40 years. With the failure of the San Francisco 49ers and his NFL career not exactly being the success he envisioned, the Chip Kelly rumors will be starting real soon. It will be interesting to see if Kelly jumps ship in the NFL and seizes the opportunity to go back to the program that he built up and had great success at.