Replace one former offensive coordinator with the current one. Seems logical. After Chip Kelly bolted the Oregon Ducks ship in favor of an NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles, making Mark Helfrich, the OC for under Kelly since 2009, the next Head Coach in Eugene seems like the smart move.
There’s always going to be pros and cons regarding promoting from within and/or looking for the best available head coach outside your own local market. Fact is, it worked very well after Bellotti stepped down as head coach and Chip Kelly replacing him from the OC position, resulting in four BCS Bowls and one national championship game.
Helfrich, born in 1973, has never been a head coach before. Born in Medford, Oregon, Helfrich played in the early 1990’s for the South Oregon Raiders football team as a quarterback, receiving NAIA All-American honors. He had a chance to join Oregon as a walk on, but preferred playing where he knew he’d be starting.
As a coach, Helfrich as worked as a quarterback coach at Boise State and Arizona State. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Colorado from 2006-2008, and since 2009 with Oregon under Kelly. The quarterbacks who have worked with him for the Ducks – Darron Thomas, Jeremiah Masoli and now Marcus Mariota have all been very successful. Mariota was named to the All-Pac-12 Conference First Team, Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and the Fiesta Bowl MVP.
Oregon ranked second in the nation this past season with 49.6 points per game and fifth with 537.4 yards per game. With Helfrich leaving the OC position open, it looks like Wide Receivers coach, Scott Frost, will be promoted to his former position.