Chip Kelly and the 5 Greatest Football Coaches in Oregon Ducks History

Joe PenkalaCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2011

Chip Kelly and the 5 Greatest Football Coaches in Oregon Ducks History

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    Since arriving in 2007, Coach Chip Kelly has taken the University of Oregon's football program to another level. In 2009, Kelly was named the new head coach when Mike Bellotti stepped down.

    Kelly took over the program and took the Pac-10 and nation by storm. In his two seasons, Kelly has won back-to-back conference championships and has also led the school to its first appearance in the national championship.

    With all the recent success Kelly has had, we take a look back at the previous 60 years of Oregon football head coaches and rank the top five coaches to ever lead the Oregon Ducks.

No. 5: Jerry Frei

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    Years As Coach: 1967-1971 (Five Seasons)

    Career Record: 22-29-2

    Best Finish: 6-4-1 in 1970

    Major Accomplishments: While Frei did not spend a great deal of time with the Ducks, he did coach some Hall of Fame players, including Dan Fouts. Frei also led the Ducks to a comeback that is still talked about today. In 1970, the Ducks scored 20 points in the final four minutes against UCLA and won 41-40.

No. 4: Len Casanova

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    Years As Coach: 1951-1966 (16 Seasons)

    Career Record: 82-73-8

    Best Finish: 8-2 in 1959

    Major Accomplishments: Casanova took over the Ducks after a 1-9 season. He turned around the program, and in 1954, posted a winning record and led the Ducks to the Rose Bowl. Casanova would later go on to be an Oregon athletic director and eventually have the current athletic center named after him.

No. 3: Rich Brooks

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    Years As Coach: 1977-1994 (18 Seasons)

    Career Record: 91-109-4

    Best Finish: 9-4 in 2004

    Major Accomplishments: Rich Brooks did not have a great start to his coaching career at Oregon. Brooks was given time to turn around the program and capped off his coaching career at Oregon with his best season.

    In 1994, Brooks led the Ducks to a 9-4 record, including an upset win over No. 9 Washington. The Ducks' 7-1 Pac-10 record earn them a conference championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

No. 2: Mike Bellotti

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    Years As Coach: 1995-2008 (14 Seasons)

    Career Record: 116-55

    Best Finish: 11-1 in 2001

    Major Accomplishments: Mike Bellotti took advantage of the foundation that Rich Brooks laid for him. In his career at Oregon, he became the program's all-time leader in wins and is respected as one of the best coaches in Pac-10 history. 

    While Bellotti achieved a lot at Oregon, his best season came in 2001, when he led the Ducks to a 10-1 regular season record and arguably should have been in the BCS National Championship game. Instead, the Ducks headed to the Fiesta Bowl and dominated Colorado, 38-16.

    Bellotti ended his career with two Pac-10 championships and led the Ducks to six bowl wins.

No. 1: Chip Kelly

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    Years As Coach: 2009-Present (Two Seasons)

    Career Record: 22-4

    Best Finish: 12-1 in 2010

    Major Accomplishments: The biggest accomplishment for Kelly has been leading the Ducks to the school's first undefeated regular season and first appearance in the national title game.

    Kelly has taken what Bellotti built and is taking it to the next level. He has won two outright Pac-10 championships, led the Ducks to back-to-back BCS games and had the Ducks three points away from their first national championship.

    In his first two years, Kelly has lost only once in conference and has Ducks fans believing that the sky is the limit for this program.