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Just Ducky: Helfrich tabbed to fill Kelly's slot at Oregon

11:06 PM, Jan 20, 2013   |    comments
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Eugene, OR (Sports Network) - The University of Oregon officially announced the hiring Mark Helfrich as the school's 32nd head football coach on Sunday.

Helfrich takes over for Chip Kelly, who announced on Wednesday his intention to leave for the head coaching vacancy with the Philadelphia Eagles.

"We were looking for a coach who exemplifies excellence, leadership and character, and who would embrace what our winning football culture is all about," Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said. "We found that person in Mark. He is a man devoted to his family, to his players and to this University and community, and I am excited to see him lead the Ducks to even greater heights."

The 39-year-old Helfrich, an Oregon native, has been the offensive coordinator for the Ducks since 2009, and has seven years of experience as an offensive coordinator at two BCS schools and 15 as a quarterbacks coach.

The Register-Guard reported Helfrich was identified as the next coach of the Ducks when Kelly nearly took a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January of 2012. The newspaper also reported wide receivers coach Scott Frost will be promoted to replace Helfrich as offensive coordinator.

"Thank you to President (Michael) Gottfredson and Rob Mullens for this opportunity of a lifetime," Helfrich said. "As a lifelong Duck fan, this is a responsibility that I welcome and accept the undertaking that stands before me to carry on the legacy of success that has been created by my many predecessors. I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of great football coaches and mentors throughout my career and have utilized that knowledge to help make me a better coach."

Oregon, which made an appearance in the 2011 BCS title game under Kelly, finished last season at 12-1. The Ducks averaged 49.6 points per game and topped Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.

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