EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- With announcement Sunday that Mark Helfrich will succeed Chip Kelly as the next head coach of the Oregon Ducks football team, Duck fans are now weighing in on the promotion.
NewsSource 16 spoke to a few fans on Oregon’s campus Sunday who were satisfied with the hire. Many fans point to Helfrich being one of Chip Kelly’s hires and that he has already spent three years with the team running the high-tempo blur offense.
Fans say they’re confident that Helfrich will help continue the national brand of winning that Kelly infused in the Ducks for four seasons.
In terms of staying power, fans also point to the fact the Helfrich is from Oregon. Helfrich said on Sunday that being the coach of the Oregon Ducks is the pinnacle of his career.
While there will likely be some difference, fans say Helfrich is almost just like Kelly.
“Just like Chip Kelly was also with us before he was head coach, so it's basically almost the same thing, so I am really not that worried,” said Luis Alverado, a senior at the University of Oregon.
"People are like 'oh, Chip's gone' but I'm not really fazed by it because he was our offensive coordinator and look at what he accomplished this year compared to his past years . . . and it's just interesting to see who's going to take the next offensive coordinator position and I am kind of interested to see who is going to be on that one,” said Andrew DeBlanc, a senior at the University of Oregon.
The hire wasn’t a surprise for many as Helfrich has been widely speculated as the successor since rumors first sprouted about Chip Kelly leaving the team.
So just who is Mark Helfrich? The coach was born in Medford. Eventually, he moved to Coos Bay and attended Marshfield High School where he was the starting quarterback for the school.
Helfrich graduated from Marshfield in 1992, moving to Ashland to start as a quarterback for Southern Oregon University’s football team for four years. The next year after graduating, he started his coaching career.
From 1998 to 2000, Helfrich served as the quarterback coach at Boise State. From 2001 to 2005, he was Arizona State’s quarterback coach. From 2006 to 2008, he was Colorado’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
Eventually, Helfrich moved to Eugene in 2009 as an offensive coordinator. He’s the first Oregon native to coach the Ducks in seventy years and, at age 39, is the youngest coach of the Ducks since Rich Brooks was hired in 1977.