Mark Helfrich is entering his first season as the head coach of the Oregon Ducks with the bar set pretty high by his predecessor Chip Kelly.
Kelly left with a career record of 46-7 (a conference record of 33-3), the best four-year span of any former Oregon coaches.
We’re all thinking it: can Helfrich top that?
I think yes, but for only one reason.
When Kelly became the head coach, he followed Mike Bellotti; athough Belotti was a good coach, he was no Kelly. Bellotti’s previous three seasons, before Kelly took over the Ducks, had a record of 26-13 (a conference record of 16-11).
Kelly has laid out the blue book for success at the University of Oregon and Helfrich got a front row seat to how it all worked.
The recruiting classes that Bellotti brought in weren’t half as great as the classes that Kelly brought in. Bellotti was never able to nab players like De’Anthony Thomas, Arik Armstead or Marcus Mariota.
Helfrich is destined to be the greatest head coach that Oregon has ever had, potentially bringing them their first football National Championship.
To reiterate: the success of the former head coach — especially for the case of Helfrich and the Ducks — helps jumpstart the success of the new head coach even before he’s coached a single game.
Don’t fret Oregon Duck fans. Thanks to the path that Kelly paved for them, Helfrich has an easy road to continuing the success of the Ducks for many years to come.