The Chicago Bears have hired former Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich to be their offensive coordinator, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday.
Helfrich, who was fired by Oregon after the 2016 season, will be part of the Bears’ staff under new coach Matt Nagy.
After serving as offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly, Helfrich became head coach of the Ducks in 2013. He went 37-16 over four seasons, leading Oregon to the first College Football Playoff championship game after the 2014 season.
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Helfrich will try to right the ship, as the Bears are looking to become more offensive-minded under Nagy, who served as the offensive coordinator with the Chiefs prior to becoming the Bears’ new head coach on Monday.
Since 2015, the Bears’ offense is ranked tied for 30th in points per game (18.3).
Helfrich, who developed Tennessee Titans quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota in college, will work with Nagy in developing Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
The Bears finished 5-11 in 2017, haven’t reached the playoffs since 2010 and have missed the postseason in 10 of the last 11 years. The Bears have finished last in the NFC North for four straight seasons.
He becomes the second coordinator to be hired after the Bears hired Chris Tabor as special teams coordinator on Wednesday.
Nagy said he will call the plays and the offense will be his design but Helfrich will obviously have plenty of influence. Nagy’s offensive staff is coming together quickly. Line coach Harry Hiestand and running backs coach Charles London were hired on Wednesday. There is a good chance the Bears will retain quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone and tight ends coach Frank Smith is a possibility to remain. The status of assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson is unknown.
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