Tuesday, December 02, 2008

BIG NEWS:Oregon Duck's Athletic Department Succession Plan

The following is a formal announcement made this afternoon by the University of Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Dec. 2, 2008) -- University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer and Athletics Director Pat Kilkenny today announced their succession plan for several key positions in the UO athletics department. Frohnmayer said he intends to promote Mike Bellotti, head football coach, to athletics director when Pat Kilkenny steps down from the position at a time yet to be determined. When that occurs, Chip Kelly, offensive coordinator for the UO football program, will assume the role of head coach.
Frohnmayer underscored the importance of developing a succession plan that will allow the athletics department to maintain its financial, academic and competitive success. “Today I’m announcing a transition plan to assure the athletics department continues its momentum as one of the premier programs in the country. I am grateful Mike and Chip will continue to serve the university, the athletics department and the football program. While the exact timing of the changes is yet to be determined, I wanted to announce the intended changes to establish the future direction of the department,” Frohnmayer said.

“I could not be happier that Mike Bellotti has agreed to assume management of the athletics department once Pat decides to step down. Mike has vision, proven leadership ability and an understanding of what makes Oregon special. This combination will help continue to make the depart ment one of the most successful in the nation.”

Under Kilkenny’s leadership, the athletics department has reached new heights. He has led successful efforts to reinstate baseball and build a new baseball stadium. He has reinvigorated plans to build a new basketball arena, and he helped establish the Legacy Fund, using generous private gifts to take Duck athletics from being self-sufficient to become self-sustaining.

“Pat has accomplished an extraordinary amount in the time he has been at the University of Oregon. My goal is to establish a plan for an orderly transition so when he leaves, the Athletics Department will be able to continue to thrive. He has served the University of Oregon with great distinction and we are deeply indebted to he and Stephanie. I know that Mike Bellotti will be able to take the department to even greater heights on the field and in the classroom thanks to Pat’s efforts,” Frohnmayer continued.

“Dave Frohnmayer and I have been discussing the future of Oregon athletics since I joined the university,” Kilkenny said. “I am pleased we are able to announce Mike will remain at Oregon once his storied his storied coaching career concludes. I am confident that Chip will be a highly successful leader of our football program.”

The longest-tenured head football coach in the Pacific-10 Conference, Bellotti has accumulated a record of 115-55 (.676) in 14 seasons at Oreg on while guiding the program to 12 bowl appearances. Bellotti is tied for fourth all time in conference wins and has won more than any other Oregon football coach. His 115-55 ledger as the Ducks’ head coach (136-80-2 overall) makes him the sixth coach in conference history to win 100 games at one school, while his winning percentage of 67.1 percent trails only Hugo Bezdek (72.7%—1906, 1913-17) among Oregon’s all-time mentors who coached the Ducks a minimum of three seasons. Included is this year’s 9-3 record and no worse than a second-place tie in the Pac-10 following Saturday’s 65-38 win at Oregon State.

University of Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly will succeed Mike Bellotti as the Ducks’ head football coach when Bellotti decides to step down as head coach of a program he has led to national prominence.

Kelly has masterminded the Ducks’ offensive attack for the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following eight years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at New Hampshire.

Since his arrival in Eugene, Kelly has succeeded in transforming Oregon’s spread offense into one of the most prolific offensive units in college football. The Ducks currently rank fourth in the country in rushing offense (277.8-yard avg.), seventh in scoring offense (41.9-point avg.) and eighth in total offense (478.2-yard avg.).

“This is an incredible opportunity for me and I am honored to be named the head c oach designate for one of the elite programs in the nation,” Kelly said. “I appreciate the confidence that President Frohnmayer, Pat Kilkenny and Mike Bellotti have bestowed on me.”

“It means so much to me to be entrusted with carrying on the great tradition of Oregon football. To succeed someone as successful and accomplished as Mike Bellotti when he retires from coaching is not only a great honor but also a tremendous challenge. Until he retires as head coach, we will continue our pursuit of a Pac-10 and national championship, and continue to provide a student-athlete experience that is second to none. I am thrilled to be staying at Oregon and in a special place with special people.”

Frohnmayer said he would use the intent-to-promote process once timing of the transition is finalized. The promotions are subject to approval by the University of Oregon’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.

No specific date has been announced as to how long Mike Bellotti will continue to coach the Oregon Ducks. At his press conference today he said:The timing is uncertain, however, and Bellotti said that he "will not step down immediately. … It could be a year, it could be more, it could be less."
"The timeline is particularly my own," Bellotti said. "I don’t have a feeling. It’s something year-to-year we’ll evaluate."