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Senior College Football Columnist

Nick Aliotti to retire as Oregon defensive coordinator

Nick Aliotti will announce that he is retiring and that the Alamo Bowl game against Texas will be his last game as Oregon's defensive coordinator, a source told CBS on Friday. An official announcement is expected later in the day.

The 59-year-old Aliotti spent 21 seasons at Oregon over three different stints among his 36 years as a coach. He worked under four different Ducks head men: as a GA under Rich Brooks in the late 70s; as a linebackers coach and later DC under Mike Bellotti, and then as a DC under Chip Kelly and this season under first-year head coach Mark Helfrich. In that time, Aliotti proved to be one of the more colorful characters in the college game, known for his unfiltered, engaging personality but also for his opportunistic defenses.

This season, despite staff shake-up with Kelly moving on to the NFL and taking with him brilliant D-line coach Jerry Azzinaro, Aliotti's D still ranked No. 25 in the nation in scoring defense (21.6 ppg) and was No. 14 in pass efficiency defense. The Ducks, who also had to replaced two excellent linebackers (Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay) plus top-five draft pick D-lineman Dion Jordan, did struggle defending the run, allowing 164 rushing yards per game (No. 65 nationally).

In 2012, the Ducks led the country in turnovers forced (40) and were No. 1 in the all-important turnover margin. Oregon was also No. 25 in scoring defense and ranked No. 44 in total defense. In 2010, Aliotti's defense also led the country in turnovers forced.

In addition to his time at UO, Aliotti spent three seasons as a special teams coach for the St. Louis Rams on Brooks' staff, and one year as UCLA's defensive coordinator.


Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for CBSSports.com and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.
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