Blog Entry

An expected change at Oregon

Posted on: March 13, 2009 3:49 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2009 12:36 am

 Mike Bellotti doesn't know how to keep a secret.

You could see it in his body language. Hell, you could see it in his language.

'At some point I won't be your head coach," Oregon's coach would tell recruits, "but our values won't change."

It was one of the more unique transitions of power in college athletics but now it is official. Oregon announced Friday afternoon that Oregon's longtime coach would move over to become athletic director on July 1. Recruits knew that was a possibility for the last three months. It makes the transfer of power almost seamless with Kelly already having increased power with the staff.

You knew the change was coming, and probably soon, ever since assistant Chip Kelly was named coach-in-waiting in December 2.

Bellotti basically had until March 30, the beginning of spring practice, to spit or get off the pot. Now that he is gone, Oregon might never be the same. Bellotti meshed his coaching abilities with his personality that allowed him to bond with Nike benefactor Phil Knight. Knight acted a king at times when it came to Oregon athletics, but never intruded on the crown jewel. Oregon football became a top 25 program because of the partnership of Bellotti and Knight.

Bellotti leaves as the dean of Pac-10 coaches (116-55 in 14 seasons) having led the Ducks to 12 bowl games including the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. This year's team could be poised to break USC's seven-year death grip on the conference.

Oregon a consistent winner through the decline of bitter rival Washington and the re-emergence of the Trojans, all the while Bellotti fought the annual Civil War with Oregon State. One of his final accomplishments will be a memorable ripping of the Beavers that kept them out of the Rose Bowl.

Kelly, 45, already has made his presence felt. The former New Hampshire offensive coordinator's dogged recruiting made Oregon a finalist for current Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor last year. On Monday, Kelly will find out if his efforts have paid off on Bryce Brown. Oregon is one of four programs still in the running for the nation's No. 1 recruit in the class of 2009.

"It's a great situation," Kelly said in January before a decision had been made. "That's why the situation at Oregon is as good as it gets. I have a chance to take over a top 10 program. You're AD happens to be the all-time winningest coach at the school."

The decks should be cleared for Bellotti when he takes over in his new job this summer. Current AD Pat Kilkenny will be the one having to make a decision on the future of basketball coach Ernie Kent. Women's basketball coach Bev Smith also in danger of losing her job.

Whatever happens, something soon will be named after the old coach/new AD. Bellotti Field at Autzen Stadium sounds nice. Sorry Rich Brooks.



Category: NCAAF

Since: Apr 23, 2008
Posted on: March 16, 2009 2:34 pm

An expected change at Oregon

Sounds like you are probably just a hater of all things Oregon.  What a uninformed comment about paying people under the table and paying off his trainer, etc.  What a load?!?!

Probably a Fresno State fan or some other tardo school that cannot compete with the big dogs...

You think non-BCS schools only get screwed, how about Oregon getting snubbed for the title game in 2002, only to kill Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl...   Haters...   Jealous haters....  You wish you had Phil Knight as an alum... 

Since: Mar 15, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2009 11:22 am

An expected change at Oregon

Bellotti has done such a good job developing offensive coordinators-tuned head coaches that this change doesn't bring a high level of concern.   I'm happy for him but he seems like such a cerebral competitor it will be interesting to see how he reacts this fall when he doesn't have a game plan to put together.

As for Ernie Kent and Bev Smith, no one is paying much attention.  Smith has been under fire since last season.  The assistant AD overseeing her program had some clear goals set out for the team this year and they didn't come close.  She's done and it's an easy call for Kilkenny.  Kent may survive one more year, partly because Duck fans aren't that concerned.  Basketball is nice and we love the NCAA tourney, but it's just a bridge to spring football.  Ernie benefits from a sense of apathy toward basketall in Eugene right now.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 7:49 pm

An expected change at Oregon

A sad day for Duck fans, but a good one  for the rest of the pac-10.  He is trully a great coach and maybe the rest of us can breathe a little easier when playing in Eugene.  Only time will tell.

GO Bears 

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: March 13, 2009 6:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: March 13, 2009 5:23 pm

An expected change at Oregon

I don't think they would replace the current Rich Brooks Field title, unless they plan on renaming it after each new coach retires.

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