After having been to four BCS bowls in a row and achieving top-4 finishes the past three seasons, it wasn't a stretch to think Oregon saw Mark Helfrich as a viable next head coaching candidate because he offered the best chance for continuity in Chip Kelly's system. But upon closer examination, Oregon AD Rob Mullens believed Helfrich, the Ducks' offensive coordinator under Kelly, would bring so much more.
Mullens told CBSSports.com on Sunday morning, a few hours before the hiring of Helfrich as the Ducks' new coach would become official, that the 39-year-old's presence "jumped out" at the AD from observing him the past few years.
In addition, Mullens said so many people around the program had given Helfrich a ringing endorsement. Most notably, former Super Bowl-winning NFL coach Tony Dungy, now an NBC analyst, was effusive in his praise of Helfrich. Dungy, whose son Eric is a wide receiver for Oregon, has been to many Ducks workouts and has had a closeup perspective on the program the past two years. "He's around a lot of practices in the spring and fall, and he was very complimentary of Mark and he saw many of the same things that I saw and that was re-assuring."