Bears fire 4 coaches, including offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich
Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich is gone, as is offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. The Bears also will part with tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride and assistant special-teams coach Brock Olivo, sources said.
The Bears fired four coaches, including their offensive coordinator.
Mark Helfrich is gone, as is offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. The Bears also will part with tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride and assistant special-teams coach Brock Olivo, sources said. The team later confirmed the moves.
As the head coach at Oregon from 2013 to 2016, Helfrich mentored Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. He’s one of six coaches to have won a game in the current NCAA playoff system. He had never held an NFL job until he joined coach Matt Nagy’s staff, though.
Nagy, not Helfrich, called the plays, though.
Helfrich acknowledged the chance of an offensive shakeup when asked about it last week.
“The same thing happens every year,” he said. “That’s something that, when you’re in this business, stuff happens. And that’s a possibility.”
Hiestand, one of the most respected offensive line coaches in the sport, joined Nagy two years ago from Notre Dame. Gilbride came from the Giants and Olivo from the Broncos, though the latter worked with Nagy earlier in Kansas City.
The Bears spoke Tuesday as though Nagy would continue to call plays. That makes their coordinator job less attractive than other similar openings in the league.
Nagy hadn’t worked with any of the position coaches he hired, though he knew receivers coach Mike Furrey from their days in the Arena Football League. He did not change his offensive staff last offseason but overhauled his defensive coaches when coordinator Vic Fangio left to be the Broncos’ head coach.
Just three hours before the team announced the firings, Nagy deflected the question when asked if he had made staffing changes. He said the Bears were “working through” changes to their staff. Asked whether he needed to make a move quickly — it is hiring season, after all — Nagy said he wouldn’t feel rushed.
“I think it’s our job — and it’s my job — to make sure the reflection process is done the right way,” he said. “Regardless of the timeline, we want to make sure that they are the right decisions.”