Mark Helfrich Ducks OCoc
Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:07 PM
OC to bring that funky Run Option package to Philly... If Kelly did leave, they were handing the team over to him.
Mark Helfrich Offensive Coordinator
In just three full years on the staff, Mark Helfrich has wasted little time in putting his stamp on the school’s offensive success. Not only has he demonstrated ability as a top strategist, he has proven invaluable as a quarterback tutor.
It hasn’t taken others long to recognize his value as he was named by FootballScoop as its 2010 national quarterbacks coach of the year in addition to being one of three finalists as its national offensive coordinator of the year honor.
At the forefront of the 38-year-old’s proficiency was the development of an inexperienced starting quarterback into a second-team Pacific-10 Conference all-league choice as a sophomore in 2010. Darron Thomas finished second in the conference in passing efficiency and third in total offense (250.8 avg.) while ranking second in the Pac-10 (13th nationally) in most points accounted for (16.5 per game) as a first-year starter.
Thomas’ efficiency would only get better with a year of experience under his belt as he rose to 11th nationally while completing 33 passes for touchdowns compared to only seven interceptions a year ago.
In fact, Thomas became the school’s first signal-caller ever to complete more than 30 touchdowns in one season on two separate occasions, finishing his collegiate career with a school-record 66 TD strikes.
The Ducks’ former graduate assistant coach (1997), who spent the previous three seasons in an identical role at the University of Colorado, brought with him 11 years of experience coaching quarterbacks at the NCAA Bowl Subdivision level (formerly Division I) at Boise State (1998-2000), Arizona State (2001-05) and Colorado (2006-08), and concentrated his efforts on improving the efficiency of the Ducks’ passing attack.
The affable Oregon native wasted little time in substantiating the notion that he is one of the nation’s bright young offensive minds. Oregon has led the Pac-10 in scoring offense each of his first three years back in his home state, ranking seventh, first and third in the country from 2009 through 2011, respectively. He also contributed to the development of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who was selected a second-team Pac-10 all-conference honoree as well as voted as a co-recipient of the Ducks’ Most Outstanding Player award following the ‘09 season.
Helfrich’s pupils gained some of their greatest acclaim during his tenure at Arizona State under former Oregon offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who elevated Helfrich to passing game coordinator in 2003. During his five-year stint in Tempe, Arizona State blossomed into one of the top passing teams in the country. In his final season there, the Sun Devils finished third in the NCAA and led the Pac-10 in passing yards per game (373.9 avg.). ASU posted a school-record 4,481 yards passing that season to elevate its five-year total to 18,686 yards (306.3 avg.) during his stay.
His quarterbacks put up numbers that ranked in the top three of the Pac-10 all five years he was there, leading the league twice (2004, 2005) and finishing second in 2001. His units also finished among the top 10 in the NCAA on three different occasions, as ASU was ranked fifth nationally in 2004 and ninth in 2002 before the school’s highest finish ever with the third-place effort in 2005.
Ranking as the third-youngest offensive coordinator in the nation at Colorado in 2008 (and the youngest at a BCS school), Helfrich’s offense’s were marked by improvement each of his first two seasons in Boulder, with the Buffaloes’ 5-7 record highlighted by a 17-14 overtime win over West Virginia his final year there.
His first Colorado offense averaged 4.5 yards per carry and featured three different players rushing for 500 yards or more for just the 10th time in school history. His 2007 team was just the third in school history to gain 1,000 yards on offense more than the previous season in the same number of games, and scored 30 or more points five times in a season for the first time since 2002.
At Arizona State, he played a significant role in the development of quarterback Andrew Walter, who set school records for both career (85) and single-season touchdowns (30) in addition to shattering the previous Pac-10 record for career touchdown passes, previously set by Stanford’s John Elway (77). One of only two players in ASU history to tally 3,000 passing yards in a season, Walter did it for a third time in 2004 with a best of 3,150 yards.
Walter, a third-round NFL draft pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2005, finished his collegiate career as the Sun Devils’ career record holder in nearly every passing category, in addition to total offense. When Walter missed the 2004 Sun Bowl against Purdue with an injury, Helfrich tutored sophomore understudy Sam Keller to the game’s MVP honors.
Working three years as the quarterback coach at Boise State, he tutored one of school’s all-time greats in Bart Hendricks, the 1999 and 2000 Big West Conference Player of the Year. In 2000, he guided the Broncos to the country’s fourth-best passing offense with 321.5 yards per game.
Helfrich graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Southern Oregon University in 1996, where he lettered four years at quarterback. He was an NAIA Scholar-Athlete as a sophomore in 1993, leading the nation in total offense while earning NAIA honorable mention All-America accolades and first-team Columbia Football Association honors in the process. That season, he accumulated 3,196 yards of total offense, including 2,712 passing (23 touchdowns) and 484 rushing (three scores), and topped the 400-yard mark in single-game total offense three times.
He began his coaching career as running backs coach at his alma mater in 1996 before playing and coaching (offensive coordinator) in Europe with the Vienna (Austria) Vikings in the winter of 1997.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:09 PM
Chip Kelly was the selling point. Not the run option.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:10 PM
Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:17 PM
Chip Kelly was the selling point. Not the run option.
This. The only way I wanted Chip was if he was going to adapt his scheme to the pro game. In the end I'm not sure even he thought he could do it.
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