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Mark Helfrich

Former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich will be the Chicago Bears' new offensive coordinator. 

Mark Helfrich isn't going to join Chip Kelly at UCLA.

Instead, the former Oregon coach is going to give the NFL a try, just as Kelly did after leaving the Ducks.

Helfrich, who was fired after Oregon's 4-8 finish in 2016, will be hired as the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, according to an ESPN report.

Before posting a 37-16 overall record at Oregon, which included guiding the Ducks to a Pac-12 championship and an appearance in the national championship game in 2014, Helfrich was Kelly's offensive coordinator.

According to a FootballScoop report last week, Kelly had offered Helfrich the same position at UCLA.

Helfrich has never coached in the NFL before, but he worked for current Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter at Boise State before a successful run at Oregon under Kelly, the former Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers coach.

The Bears recently hired coach Matt Nagy, who has said he will handle the play-calling duties.

Oregon owed Helfrich an $11.6 million buyout. His salary with the Bears will mitigate what the school still owes him.

Chicago's offense features quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall pick in last year's draft, who passed for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions as a rookie. The Bears also have two former Ducks, Hroniss Grasu and Kyle Long, on the offensive line.

Helfrich becomes the second coordinator to be hired after the Bears named 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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