Mark Helfrich has been fired as the Oregon head coach after four seasons in Eugene as head coach. The Ducks went 4-8 this season after starting in the Top 25.
After a season in which Oregon went 4-8 after being ranked No. 24 in the preseason, Mark Helfrich has been dismissed as the head coach of the Ducks.
“We want to thank Mark for his eight years with the University of Oregon and appreciate his efforts on behalf of Oregon football,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said. “We wish Mark and his family the best.”
Helfrich took over for Chip Kelly in 2013 and was extremely successful in his first three seasons, leading Oregon to the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship game where the Ducks lost to Ohio State. His tenure also included Marcus Mariota winning the first Heisman Trophy in program history.
This season, however, became a disaster after a 2-0 start. A loss to Nebraska in Lincoln led to a five-game losing streak that included a 70-21 thrashing by the hands of Washington. The Ducks went on to lose three of the last four, including the Civil War matchup against Oregon State, 34-24. They ended the season 4-8 and missing a bowl game for the first time since 2004.
Helfrich had served as the offensive coordinator under Kelly from 2009-12, when the Ducks became an offensive force that ran the up-tempo offense many teams had difficulty adjusting to.
Since becoming head coach, he has seen turnover at key positions with his coaching staff. Longtime defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti retired after Helfrich’s first year, and his replacement Don Pellum only lasted two years. This year’s defensive staff, led by Brady Hoke, was largely ineffective. This season also saw a new offensive coordinator in Matt Lubick, who took over for Scott Frost after the latter departed to become head coach at UCF.
In four years as head coach, Helfrich was 37-16 overall and 24-12 in Pac-12 play. He is the first head football coach to be fired from Oregon since Don Read following the 1976 season.