Mark Helfrich is Oregon’s next man in.
As usual, the Ducks wasted little time finding a replacement for Chip Kelly, promoting their affable offensive coordinator to coach Sunday. Kelly left to become coach of the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday.
Helfrich is the third consecutive offensive coordinator at Oregon to be promoted to the top job, following Kelly and his predecessor, Mike Bellotti.
The 39-year-old Oregon native signed a five-year deal with the Ducks for a reported $9 million. His promotion does not come as a surprise: Even before Oregon defeated Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, the Ducks’ quarterbacks guru was considered the front-runner as Kelly’s successor.
“Going forward we will attack in all phases. We’ll embrace innovation and we’ll strive to do our best to win each and every day,” Helfrich said at a news conference Sunday afternoon where he was supported by players including quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De’Anthony Thomas.
Helfrich, who embodies Oregon’s “Next Man In” philosophy of substitution without skipping a beat, became offensive coordinator of the Ducks when Kelly took over four seasons ago. The Ducks have appeared in BCS bowls each of those four years, including an appearance in the national championship game against Auburn in 2011.
The Ducks, ranked No. 2 in the final AP Top 25, finished 12-1 this season.
“Win The Day and all that — that doesn’t change for us,” Mariota said.
Kelly, credited with creating Oregon’s innovative hurry-up spread offense, went 46-7 as coach at Oregon. It had been widely expected that he would jump to the NFL, leaving many surprised when he announced he was staying at Oregon after interviewing with Philadelphia, Cleveland and Buffalo following the Fiesta Bowl. Nine days later, however, he changed his mind and decided to go to the Eagles.
Couric to interview Te’o
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o will be interviewed by Katie Couric, the first on-camera interview given by the All-American since news broke about the dead girlfriend hoax.
Te’o and his parents will appear on Couric’s syndicated talk show Thursday. ABC News announced the interview Sunday, but gave no details as to when it will take place and where.
Te’o gave an off-camera interview with ESPN on Friday night. He insists he was the victim of the hoax, not a participant. The Heisman Trophy runner-up said he had an online romance with a woman he never met and in September was informed that the woman died from leukemia.
Te’o told ESPN that the person suspected of being the mastermind of the hoax has contacted him and apologized.