Former Oregon coach and Chip Kelly protege Mark Helfrich is expected to be named the Bears’ offensive coordinator, sources told the Sun-Times. He is the top target of new Bears coach Matt Nagy.
Helfrich, a former quarterback at Southern Oregon, is most noted for working under Kelly at Oregon. He was Kelly’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2009-12 — when the Ducks were 46-7 with a prolific offense. He took over as head coach when Kelly left to become the head coach of the Eagles and was 37-16 in for seasons — including a berth in the national championship game after the 2014 season. But he couldn’t maintain Kelly’s success — seasons of 11-2, 13-2, 9-4 and 4-8 — and was fired after the 2016 season.
As Oregon’s offensive coordinator, Helfrich did not call plays. He won’t with the Bears, either — Nagy will.
He also was being pursued by Kelly as an offensive coordinator at UCLA and Arizona for its vacant head-coaching job.
Helfrich was tutored by current Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter, a noted West Coast offense practitioner at Boise State and Arizona State.
Helfrich worked as an analyst for Fox Sports during the 2017 college football season.