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Helfrich fired by Oregon

On November 29, 2016 at 10:04 pm EST

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Oregon Ducks have fired head coach Mark Helfrich. It’s been speculated since this weekend that his job was in danger.

The Ducks haven’t been good since Marcus Mariota left following the 2014 season. Now, with a new head coach — or possibly an old coach returning — will try to spark the offense.

The Ducks went 4-8 this season. They lost their final game under Helfrich as they lost 34-24 to the Oregon State Beavers, who also finished with a 4-8 record.

Mark Helfrich (Getty Images)

Mark Helfrich (Getty Images)

It’s their most losses since going 3-8 in 1991.

“We want to thank Mark for his eight years with the University of Oregon and appreciate his efforts on behalf of Oregon football,” athletic director Rob Mullens said. “We wish Mark and his family the best.”

Helfrich took over as the Ducks head coach when former head coach Chip Kelly left to become the Philadelphia Eagles head coach in Jan. 2013. He was 37-16 in four years with the team.

They went 24-4 in his first two years, including a loss in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game, where they lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes. In the past two seasons, they’ve gone 13-12.

This season was their first losing season since 2014. That year they went 5-6 under former head coach Mike Bellotti.

“It is a great honor to have served as the head football coach at the University of Oregon,” Helfrich said. “It is with respect and disappointment that we receive this decision. Plain and simple — we didn’t win enough games this season.

“Thank you first to my wife, Megan, and our family, the fans, the campus community, the board, our donors, and administration. To our coaches, staff and their families, it is impossible to communicate my gratitude for the environment we got to work in every single day. Finally, to the players — thank you, and I love you. The future is bright for this young, talented team, and we will be supporting them and their new leadership.”

The offense has struggled the past two seasons without Mariota. The defense was a disaster this season under defensive coordinator Brady Hoke.

This was his first coaching job since being fired by the Michigan Wolverines. They gave up 41.4 points per game — an increase over the 37 points they gave up in 2015 under former defensive coordinator Don Pellum.

While Kelly’s name is going to be brought up almost immediately, he’s not available, as he’s coaching in the National Football League. He’s the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, who are 1-10 following their loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Besides Kelly, Boise State Broncos head coach Bryan Hardin, Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain and the University of Central Florida head coach Scott Frost have their names being mentioned. Earlier this month, ESPN’s Darren Rovell tweeted that the Ducks are willing to pay as much as $10 million per season — which would surpass Jim Harbaugh’s $9 million per season at Michigan — for the most money spent on a head coach in a single season.

First was previously an offensive coordinator at Oregon under Helfrich before leaving to take the Knights job. He guided the team to a 6-6 record.

Any Corrections?. You can contact Anthony at publisher@thecapitalsportsreport.com.

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Any Corrections?. You can contact Anthony Caruso III, Publisher at publisher@thecapitalsportsreport.com.

Follow us: @CapSportsReport on Twitter | The Capital Sports Report on Facebook

©2007-2017 The Capital Sports Report. Please honor copyright! Piracy hurts writers, devalues their works, and puts you and your employer at risk of lawsuits. All original materials contained on this website are protected by the United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcasted without the prior written permission.

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