Best Ways for Oregon Football to Weather the Loss of Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly decided to bolt for the NFL and take the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job. Kelly took the Oregon football program to new heights with an astounding 46-7 record in four seasons. It is now up to the program to replace Kelly and be able to be just as talented for this upcoming season. Here are a few ways the Oregon football program will be successful in going through this new transition:
Promoting Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich to Head Coach.
As reported by GoDucks.com, Mark Helfrich has been named the new head coach of the Oregon Ducks football program.
It's a sensible hire. Helfrich knows the system, having been a part of the Oregon football program since 2009. Helfrich also is an Oregon native and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with the Ducks in 1997.
Hiring the offensive coordinator has worked out for the Oregon football program before. When head coach Mike Bellotti stepped down after the 2008-2009 season to become the Oregon Athletic Director, the head coaching position was given to then-offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, who had been with the team for just one season.
Helfrich has already been with the program for four seasons.
Promoting Scott Frost to Offensive Coordinator
Everyone remembers how receivers coach Scott Frost became a fan favorite after trying to restrain then-Oregon starting running back LeGarrette Blount from Boise State fans in the 2009 season opener—an incident that represented the low point of the Chip Kelly era.
The Blount incident did reveal something that is special about Frost: how well he relates to his players. The Oregon program needed to keep him, and according to Rob Moseley of The Register-Guard, Frost will be promoted to offensive coordinator with the hiring of Helfrich.
Frost is a winner and there will be other programs that will to try to hire him in the future. The great thing is that, like Helfrich, Frost has been with the program since Chip Kelly became the head coach.
The No-Huddle Spread Offense
Oregon is notorious for their no-huddle spread offense. This quick-tempoed, quick-hitting offensive scheme was brought in by Chip Kelly, and it helped lift the program into the national spotlight.
Keeping coaches like Mike Helfrich and Scott Frost, who have been a part of the Oregon system, is a key to maintaining continuity.
If Oregon were to have hired a head coach like Chris Peterson from Boise State, Oregon would have most likely ended up with a new coaching staff. It would have put the Ducks in a rebuilding situation. It is crucial for Oregon to keep their coaches, so this type of offensive scheme can continue to give opponents nightmares.
Being Able to Keep Recruits.
With the investigation of potential recruiting violations still surrounding the Oregon program, recruits still need to be sold on the Oregon brand and that this program is not going to die anytime soon.
Oregon is currently ranked 22nd in the nation in recruiting, according to ESPN.com. The Ducks have two of the top 150 recruits in running backs Thomas Tyner and Dontre Wilson*. Many of the coaches on the Oregon staff helped recruit these players, so it helps that they have built relationships with them.