Mark Helfrich joined ESPN radio earlier today and told listeners that he reached out to his former boss Chip Kelly about returning to lead the Oregon program.
The Ducks are a rare bird (no pun intended) in college football in that they have a number of long tenured assistants that have been in Eugene for decades, a few of them longer than 30 years. So when Helf realized the possibility of Oregon moving in another direction, his frame of minded shifted to those loyal assistant coaches that have poured their hearts and souls into the Oregon program for a length of time that is unheard of in the profession.
"There were all those rumors out there and all that stuff, at that point, you're kind of thinking of every possible scenario. Obviously he had been contacted a few times or something."
"It was just probably more selfishly than anything when you start thinking of your assistants and all the support staff, all these people. If he were to come back here, some of those people would be safe."
On the Ducks staff currently are guys like Steve Greatwood (OL), Gary Campbell (RBs), Tom Osborne (TEs), Don Pellum (LBs) and John Neal (DBs) who all had served as assistants under Kelly, so you can certainly understand Helf's thought process in doing everything he can to try and preserve the jobs of those guys as well as relatively new additions to the staff in Brady Hoke, David Yost, Matt Lubick and Ron Aiken.
Asked about Kelly "hating" the recruiting aspect of coaching at the college level, Helf responded, "I'm not sure if he hated recruiting...dislike, a strong dislike."
Kelly, of course maintained his commitment to staying in the NFL with the 49ers when Helf called, and Oregon is now looking to fill their head coaching job with someone outside of their own staff for the first time in nearly four decades.