MEDFORD, Ore.—After 21 years of coaching collegiately, Mark Helfrich is making the jump to the NFL.
The former Oregon Ducks head coach and Southern Oregon University quarterback has reportedly agreed to become the new offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.
Helfrich will not be calling plays initially, but he will inherit a second-year quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky. Helfrich is credited with the development of Marcus Mariota and Trubisky profiles as having a similar skillset.
Helfrich was also reportedly offered the offensive coordinator position at UCLA by Chip Kelly—an especially enticing proposition for southern Oregon football fans given Chase Cota’s commitment.
But the move to professional football comes after Helfrich spent the 2017 season as a college football television analyst for Fox Sports, a position which he accepted after being fired from Oregon’s head coaching position in November of 2016.
During his tenure with the Ducks, he led Oregon to the College Football Playoff’s first championship game in 2014. He held the head coaching position in Eugene from 2013 to 2016 and went 37-16.
Helfrich is also an alumnus of Southern Oregon University. He played quarterback for the Raiders from 1992 to 1995 and was an NAIA All-American in 1993.