Mark Helfrich is a dead man walking.
In my opinion, no matter how the rest of the season plays out for the Oregon Ducks, Helfrich is a goner. The Oregon Ducks are spiraling out of control after being one of the most successful college football programs of the last decade. It’s gotten so bad so quick, that something desperately needs to change.
The Ducks haven’t been recruiting like they have in the past. They are losing games they never should have lost. The defense is historically awful. The team lacks leadership and discipline and according to whispers in the locker room…..Helfrich has lost the kids.
When you combine all that with the fact that Nike head honcho Phil Knight is reportedly done with Helfrich himself and is ready to pony up a reported TEN MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR for a new head coach at Oregon, that’s just another major thing going against Helf.
The main question that Ducks fans have right now when you talk about firing Mark Helfrich is…..who does Oregon get to replace him? If you fire your head coach, you had better have a guy in your sights that you are ready to go after. Personally, if Phil Knight is really willing to pay a reported $10 million a year for a new head coach, almost everyone becomes a candidate for the job (money talks, bullshit walks) in my mind.
These are the guys I personally would love to see the Ducks go after. Now, for the record. This isn’t a list of coaches I think Oregon actually has a chance to get. It’s a DREAM list. It’s a list of candidates I think the Ducks maybe have a shot at getting (which is why you won’t see Nick Saban or Bill Belichick on this list….) and that I would love to see in Eugene, Oregon next season.
Top 10 Coaches Who Should Replace Mark Helfrich
Current Job: Head coach at Appalachian State
Past Jobs: WR coach at Appalachian State, RB coach at Appalachian State, QB coach at Appalachian State, QB coach at Toledo, Offensive Coordinator at FIU, Offensive Coordinator at Appalachian State
Overall Head Coaching Record: 29-18
Scott Satterfield wouldn’t necessarily be a SLAM DUNK hire in the eyes of many Oregon fans, but he would be a good one in my book. If the Ducks can’t land any of the big named candidates, they could do a lot worse than a guy who has turned Appalachian State into a decent little program as they entered the FBS.
Current Job: Shitty baseball player/ESPN analyst
Past Jobs: Other shit
Overall Head Coaching Record: 0-0
Tim Tebow would automatically become the top recruiter in college football if he became a head coach. What kid wouldn’t want to run through a brick wall for TIM FUCKING TEBOW? Just look at the guy! He’s ridiculousy handsome and saves lives just by touching people. If one of his players got injured on-the-field, Tebow could just run out, touch him, and the player would be fine. Who the hell wouldn’t want that???? Give this man a head coaching job right now and he’ll be the next Nick Saban……or Brady Hoke. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
AND NOW……..THE TOP 10!!!!!!!!!
10. Larry Fedora
Current Job: Head coach at North Carolina
Past Jobs: Offensive Assistant at Baylor, Offensive Assistant at Air Force, Offensive Coordinator at Middle Tennessee, Offensive Assistant at Florida, Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma State, Head Coach at Southern Mississippi
Overall Head Coaching Record: 73-42
Larry Fedora is another name that wouldn’t exactly get Oregon fans excited, but he would likely end up being an excellent hire in the end. He’s a good in-game coach. He’s a good recruiter (he’s consistently had North Carolina in the 20-30 range as far as recruiting rankings are concerned). And he’s shown that he can make chicken salad out of chicken shit. That’s the kind of guy that the Oregon Ducks need. If Fedora could do that at a school like North Carolina that isn’t exactly known for being a football powerhouse….what could he do at a school like Oregon? I don’t know, but it would definitely be interesting.
9. Lane Kiffin
Current Job: Offensive Coordinator at Alabama
Past Jobs: Tight Ends coach at USC, WR coach at USC, Offensive Assistant at USC, Head coach of Oakland Raiders, Head coach at Tennessee, Head coach at USC
Overall Head Coaching Record: 35-21
Laugh or scoff at this one all you want. I’m going on record right now and stating that Oregon hiring Lane Kiffin would be a homerun hire. That’s right people! I SAID IT! A HOMERUN HIRE! Now, before you do something drastic like click the little “x” in the corner of your computer screen and take me out of your life forever, allow me to explain myself. Kiffin is a GREAT recruiter. A school like Oregon that doesn’t produce a lot of in-state talent, needs a great recruiter to bring talent into the state. That’s arguably the most important part of the Oregon head coaching job and that’s one area that Mark Helfrich has failed at miserably (have you seen the lack of talent on that defense?). I honestly think that with the right staff and after years of working under Nick Saban, Kiffin is ready to prove himself as a head coach once again, he just needs the right spot. Let’s not forget that for all the crap Kiffin gets, he’s NEVER HAD A LOSING SEASON AS A COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEAD COACH! You know who can’t say that? Mark Helfrich.
8. P.J. Fleck
Current Job: Head coach at Western Michigan
Past Jobs: Wide Receivers coach at Northern Illinois, Offensive Assistant at Northern Illinois, Wide Receivers coach at Rutgers, Wide Receivers coach for Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Overall Head Coaching Record: 27-21
P.J. Fleck is one of the hottest coaching commodities in college football right now. This is his fourth year at Western Michigan and his Broncos are one of only TWO undefeated teams left in college football. You know who the other team is? Alabama! That’s pretty damn impressive if I may say so myself. What Fleck has managed to do in just four years in Kalamazoo is borderline miraculous. This is a team that finished with a 1-11 record in his first year as head coach and now they have a legit possibility to sniff the college football playoff (although that’s still a REAL long-shot even if the Broncos finish undefeated). There are already rumors that every single college football program with a head coach opening will be looking at Fleck this off-season. Will he bolt WMU for a better job? Will that job be Oregon? It wouldn’t surprise me.
7. Kyle Whittingham
Current Job: Head coach at Utah
Past Jobs: Defensive Line coach at Utah, Defensive Coordinator at Utah
Overall Head Coaching Record: 102-48
I’m a massive fan of Kyle Whittingham’s. I don’t think the guy gets the respect he deserves from a National perspective mainly because he’s been tucked away at Utah for seemingly forever. Sometimes change is good and it might be good in this case. No disrespect at all to Utah, but it’s not a top job in college football. The Oregon job is a better job (mainly due to Nike and the success the Ducks have had recently) and if Whittingham was ever looking to get out of Utah, he could do a lot worse than Oregon. If the Ducks got their hands on Whittingham, I honestly feel they would be a National Title contender again in no time. Just look at the guy’s track record. He dominated the Mountain West conference before moving to the PAC-12. Upon joining the PAC-12, the Utes struggled early but have now turned into one of the most dangerous teams in the conference. And if that wasn’t enough, Whittingham is a RIDICULOUS 9-1 all-time in bowl games! The guy is one of the best coaches in college football and if he jumped ship, I’d welcome him with open arms.
6. Josh McDaniels
Current Job: Offensive Coordinator of New England Patriots
Past Jobs: Defensive Assistant of New England Patriots, Quarterbacks coach of New England Patriots, Offensive Coordinator of New England Patriots, Head coach of Denver Broncos, Offensive Coordinator of St. Louis Rams
Overall Head Coaching Record: 11-17
If Josh McDaniels leaves the New England Patriots for a head coaching job, it’s going to be an NFL job. However, in a perfect world (for me at least), McDaniels would at least consider jumping to the college ranks. I honestly feel like he’s the perfect guy to run a college program. He’s a Bill Belichick disciple. He’s a young guy. He knows how to coach and I personally think he would instantly become one of the best recruiters in the sport. What kid wouldn’t want to go play for a guy with the experience that McDaniels has? Talk about getting you ready for the NFL. This guy would instantly turn whatever program he got a job at into a real contender. Maybe $10 million is enough to get him to at least consider the job? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
5. Brian Kelly
Current Job: Head coach at Notre Dame
Past Jobs: Head coach at Central Michigan, Head coach at Cincinnati
Overall Head Coaching Record: 230-86-2
I’m a huge fan of Brian Kelly. Even though Notre Dame is having a down year this year, I think it would be a massive mistake if they fired Kelly. The guy has proven that he can take Notre Dame (a job that isn’t as glamorous as it once was for numerous reasons) to the promised land and as long as he doesn’t run into Alabama….they might have a shot at winning a National Championship. Kelly is a good in-game coach. He’s a fantastic recruiter. And he’s a MAJOR red-ass which is something I absolutely look for in my college football head coach. College kids need direction and discipline and Kelly provides that. Like I said, if Notre Dame lets Kelly go, he’s going to have a numerous amount of suitors. Hopefully Oregon is one of them.
4. Les Miles
Current Job: Unemployed
Past Jobs: Offensive Line coach at Colorado, Offensive Line coach at Michigan, Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma State, Tight Ends coach for Dallas Cowboys, Head coach at Oklahoma State, Head coach at LSU
Overall Head Coaching Record: 141-55
This one is likely a long shot if Helfrich is fired. All reports say that Miles is extremely interested in the Purdue job and something tells me he’ll be hired there in just a matter of weeks, if not days. But still, I would love to see Miles in Eugene. He’s an absolutely great recruiter and like I mentioned earlier, that’s the biggest thing the Ducks need. He has a National Championship under his belt, so you know the guy can get the job done. He’s a fantastic head coach who was let go by a team with unrealistic expectations (Miles never went worse than 8-5 at LSU). Whoever lands him is going to see their program turned around rather quickly. Man, Purdue is going to be so lucky.
3. Chip Kelly
Current Job: Head coach of San Francisco 49ers
Past Jobs: Offensive Coordinator at Oregon, Head coach at Oregon, Head coach of Philadelphia Eagles
Overall Head Coaching Record: 73-37
You ever end a relationship because you think the grass is greener on the other side only to realize you made a huge mistake a few years later? That’s what happened with Chip Kelly and the Oregon Ducks. Kelly is a fantastic college football head coach who is extremely stubborn. He thinks he’s smarter than he actually is and that’s probably his biggest weakness. For some reason, Chipper thinks he can actually still be a successful NFL head coach even though the proof is in the pudding. The guy and his personality are more built for the college football game and the quicker he realizes that….the happier he’s going to be. If there’s an opening this off-season at Oregon and Chip calls up and gets the $10 million and the head coaching job back, I’ll take back everything I ever said about Chip being stupid. Why? Because he would’ve managed to break up with someone and then take them back years later when they dropped a lot of weight and got way better looking. That’s a bold move Cotton, and it would’ve paid off a ton.
2. Tom Herman
Current Job: Head coach at Houston
Past Jobs: Offensive Coordinator at Texas State, Offensive Coordinator at Rice, Offensive Coordinator at Iowa State, Offensive Coordinator at Ohio State
Overall Head Coaching Record: 22-3
Tom Herman is the hottest coaching commodity in college football. For any Power Five conference team looking to upgrade their coaching staff, they immediately circle Tom Herman’s name first for good reason. They guy is a fantastic head coach and an awesome recruiter. Oregon Ducks fans know the wrath of Herman unfortunately. Remember when Ohio State absolutely destroyed the Ducks in the National Championship game? A lot of that was because of Herman and he managed to snag a head coaching job at the University of Houston because of that game. Since then, Houston has been a REALLY good football team. Herman not only managed to get a five-star recruit to come to Houston (future #1 overall pick Ed Oliver), but he’s also proven time and time again that his football team can beat more talented football teams because the guy is a damn good head coach. Beating Florida State last year in the Peach Bowl automatically put Herman on everyone’s watch list. After the big win over Louisville this past weekend, Herman’s stock went up even more. I know Houston fans think they have a real good shot at keeping Herman, but money talks my friend. If a school like Texas, LSU, or Oregon knocks on Herman’s door with a Scrooge McDuck-like vault in tow, Herman’s gone. You can bank on it.
1. Jon Gruden
HOLY SPIDER 2 Y BANANA BATMAN! Yes, Jon Gruden would be my #1 pick as the next head football coach of the Oregon Ducks if I could have my pick of anyone not named Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, or Bill Belichick. Before you completely poo poo the idea, allow me to refresh your memory. It was only a few years ago that Gruden almost became the offensive coordinator for the Oregon Ducks. Gruden has had a fascination with the Oregon program for awhile now and ESPN’s own Trent Dilfer recently hinted that if the Ducks approached Gruden with a $10 million offer, he’d likely consider it. Even though I think it’s a long shot that Gruden ever leaves the booth to go back into coaching, if he was going to do it….a college job might be the way to go for him. He’d be a great recruiter and would likely produce a ton of NFL talent wherever he went. Who knows the NFL game better than Gruden? College kids would run through a brick wall to play for him and you’d be foolish not to want him as the head coach of your favorite college football team. It’s a pipe dream, but one I desperately want to happen.