Oregon Webfoots football

Oregon Ducks football
2013 Oregon Ducks football team
First season 1894
Athletic director Rob Mullens
Head coach Mark Helfrich
Home stadium Autzen Stadium
Field Rich Brooks Field
Stadium capacity 54,000
Stadium surface FieldTurf
Location Eugene, Oregon
Conference Pacific-12
Division North
All-time record 603–472–46 (.558)
Postseason bowl record 11–15
Conference titles 10 (1919, 1933, 1948, 1957, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2011)
Heisman winners 0 (3 finalists)
Consensus All-Americans 5
Current uniform
Colors

Thunder Green, Lightning Yellow, White, and Black

          
Fight song Mighty Oregon
Mascot The Oregon Duck
Marching band Oregon Marching Band
Rivals Oregon State Beavers
Washington Huskies
Website GoDucks.com

The Oregon Ducks football program is the intercollegiate football team for the University of Oregon located in the U.S. state of Oregon. The team is currently coached by Mark Helfrich and competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Football Bowl Subdivision and is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference. Known as the Ducks, the team was commonly called the Webfoots until the mid-1960s, and the first football team was fielded in 1894. As a graduate of Oregon's Track team, Phil Knight, who co-founded the Nike brand, donates significantly to the university's athletics. Oregon plays its home games at the 54,000 seat Autzen Stadium in Eugene, and its main rivals are the Oregon State Beavers and the Washington Huskies. The Ducks and Beavers historically end each regular season with the Civil War rivalry game in late November.

History

Early years (1894–1925)

The football program began in 1893 and played its first game on March 24, 1894, defeating Albany College 44–2 under head coach Cal Young.[1][2] Cal Young left after that first game and J.A. Church took over the coaching position in the fall for the rest of the season. Oregon finished the season with two additional losses and a tie, but went undefeated the following season, winning all four of its games under head coach Percy Benson.[2][3][4] In 1899, the football team left the state for the first time, playing the California Golden Bears in Berkeley, California.[1] Oregon's largest margin of victory came in 1910 when they defeated the University of Puget Sound 115–0.[5]

Oregon changed coaches frequently during this era, going through sixteen different head coaches in nineteen seasons,[6] until Hugo Bezdek, who had coached the Webfoots to a 5–0–1 record in 1906, returned to Oregon from the University of Arkansas in 1913. Bezdek, Oregon's first truly professional coach, led the team from 1913 through 1917. A versatile motivator of athletes, during his tenure Bezdek was also the West Coast scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates.[7]

In the 1916 season, Oregon went undefeated with seven wins and one tie under head coach Hugo Bezdek, shutting out all their opponents except California. They opened the season against Willamette University, defeating them 97–0. The game against Washington ended in a 0–0 tie. The tiebreaker for the Pacific Coast Conference title went to Washington, due to Oregon's use of an ineligible player[8][9][10] but Oregon was given the invitation to the 1917 Rose Bowl, then known as the Tournament East-West Football Game at Tournament Park due to the cost of a train ticket to Los Angeles being significantly less from Eugene than from Seattle.[11] The Oregon football team defeated the heavily favored University of Pennsylvania Quakers 14–0, securing their first Rose Bowl victory.[5]

In 1918 Bezdek quit Oregon to become general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.[7] He was succeeded by Shy Huntington, one of the heroes of the 1917 Rose Bowl.

Playing at newly constructed Hayward Field, which would be their home stadium in Eugene until 1967, the Webfoots again tied Washington for the Pacific Coast Conference title in 1919, winning the tiebreaker based on their 24–13 victory over the Huskies in Seattle. Oregon lost the 1920 Rose Bowl to Harvard University, 7–6.[12] This would be the team's last bowl appearance until the 1948 Cotton Bowl.[12][13][14]

"Cap", "Doc", "Prink" and "Tex" (1926–1946)

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Oregon made the first attempts to establish a nationally prominent football program by luring established Eastern coaches west, first John "Cap" McEwan in 1926 from Army, then Clarence "Doc" Spears from Minnesota in 1930. Both coaches achieved moderate success, but neither outlasted his contracted term: McEwan resigned amid a contract dispute, [15] and Spears, hired under a five-year contract, left Oregon after two seasons to return to the Western Conference at Wisconsin.[16]

Prince G. "Prink” Callison, Oregon native, alumnus, former player and coach of the freshman team, took over from Spears in 1932. Behind standout back Mike Mikulak and a smothering defense (50 points allowed, five shutouts), Callison led the 1933 Webfoots to a 9–1 mark and Pacific Coast Conference co-championship, with the only loss to USC. This record would stand as the best in school history until 2001.[17]

After the homegrown Callison retired in 1937, Oregon again hired a working head coach, pulling Gerald “Tex” Oliver from Arizona. Oliver coached until World War II, when he took a leave of absence to serve as a naval officer; Oregon basketball coach John Warren served as interim head football coach in 1942, posting a 2-6 record, after which the school shut down the football program for the duration of the war.

Oliver returned as head coach after the war, eventually posting a mediocre 23–28–3 cumulative record. His 71–7 loss at Texas in 1941 on the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor stands as the most points allowed by any Oregon team, and the second largest margin of defeat. Oliver, in 1945, is the only coach to see his team lose twice to Oregon State in the same season.[18] In October 1946, Oliver abruptly resigned as Oregon's head coach, expressing dissatisfaction with the level of support shown by the administration for the football program.[19]

Aiken era (1947–1950)

Oliver was replaced by another working head coach, Jim Aiken of Nevada. Aiken had immediate success with the team he inherited, which like many post-war squads, was peppered with war veterans including Brad Ecklund, Jake Leicht and Norm Van Brocklin, and transfers George Bell, Woodley Lewis and John McKay.[20] Oregon’s 1948 team went 9–1 in the regular season and tied with California for the PCC championship; the teams did not meet on the field that season and in a secret ballot by the conference presidents, Cal was awarded the 1949 Rose Bowl bid.[21] In a bid to sooth hurt feelings, the conference broke tradition and allowed the Webfoots to play in a post-season contest other than the Rose Bowl. Oregon’s Cotton Bowl game that season (a 21–13 loss to SMU with Doak Walker) was the team’s only bowl appearance between the 1920 and 1958 Rose Bowls.

Aiken couldn’t maintain his success with younger players. By his fourth season, the Ducks were one of the nation’s worst major college teams, posting a 1–9 record in 1950, still the lowest winning percentage in school history as of 2011.[17] Aiken resigned amid allegations of recruiting and practice violations in early 1951.[22]

Casanova era (1951–1966)

Everything that Oregon athletics is today, it owes to Len Casanova. He has been the pillar, the strength and the inspiration for our program for over 50 years.

—Bill Moos, [23]

Once again, Oregon found a working major college coach to take over its program, hiring Len Casanova from the University of Pittsburgh after Aiken's resignation.[24] Casanova gradually rebuilt the program, and eventually led the Ducks to a winning record in 1954. The Ducks played in the earliest nationally-televised college football game in 1953, against Nebraska in Portland, winning 20–12.[25]

In the 1957 season Oregon tied Oregon State for the conference title, but earned the Rose Bowl bid because of the conference no-repeat rule. The Webfoots lost 10–7 to the heavily favored and number one ranked Ohio State University in the 1958 Rose Bowl.[26][24] Braven Dyer of the Los Angeles Times, who had picked Ohio State to win by a 48–14 score, said: “The score of 10–7 was a complete moral victory for the underdog Ducks from Eugene who had been doped to lose by three touchdowns. They lost, but at day’s end there weren’t many fans who were willing to concede that the better team had won." ” Vincent X. Flaherty, writing in the San Francisco Examiner, said: “Len Casanova undoubtedly performed the greatest coaching feat of the season for the Rose Bowl classic...there couldn’t have been a bowl team anywhere in America yesterday that dazzled with more spectacular finesse.”[25]

Casanova led the Ducks to two more bowl appearances, in the Liberty Bowl (1960 vs Penn State) and the Sun Bowl (1963 vs Southern Methodist), before becoming the second athletic director for the University of Oregon in January 1967, replacing Leo Harris.[1][26][24] Future NFL Hall of Fame members Mel Renfro and Dave Wilcox were players under his tutelage. Many of his assistant coaches such as George Seifert, John McKay, and John Robinson went on to have their own successful head coaching careers.[26] His career record of 82–73–8 marked the highest number of wins recorded by a head coach at the university at that time.[24] The Len Casanova Center, Oregon's athletic department headquarters near Autzen Stadium, is named in his honor.[26]

Frei era (1967–1971)

Assistant coach Jerry Frei became head coach after Len Casanova moved on to athletic director in 1967, the year Oregon moved its home football games to the newly constructed Autzen Stadium.[26][27] Although his teams were never selected for a bowl game, and he ended his Oregon career with a losing record, he coached several players who went on to NFL stardom, including Hall of Fame member Dan Fouts and All-Pro wide receiver Ahmad Rashad.[28] In 1970, he coached the Ducks to an improbable comeback at UCLA, scoring 20 points in the final four minutes of the game to beat UCLA 41–40.[29] However, Frei was unable to defeat arch-rival Oregon State, and after the 1971 loss some influential boosters reportedly were demanding that he make significant changes to his coaching staff.[30]

On January 18, 1972, Frei resigned as head coach, citing disagreements with university boosters and athletic director Norv Ritchey.[27][28] Following his resignation, the student body president at the time, as well as numerous published letters to the editor of the Register Guard voiced their support of Frei.[27]

The dark years of Dick and Don (1972–1976)

After an exhaustive search that included interviews with several established head coaches, Frei’s offensive line coach, Dick Enright, was elevated to head coach for the 1972 season. Enright was the least experienced candidate for the position, having been a high school coach until 1970,[31] and he struggled to maintain team discipline and consistent play. Enright famously tried to make an option quarterback out of Dan Fouts, who was not a runner.[32] Although his 1972 team did beat Oregon State for the first time in nine seasons, Enright’s teams only won six games in two seasons. After complaining to the media about what he considered sub-standard conditions of football facilities,[33] he was fired after the 1973 season, replaced by Don Read, his quarterback coach.[30]

Although he possessed a great offensive mind,[34] Read was unable to field a competitive team in his first job as a major college head coach. Oregon’s longest losing streak – 14 games – was set during Read’s three-year term, which also saw the team’s worst loss in history (66–0 at Washington in 1974).[35]

After the Ducks’ home opener in 1975, a 5–0 loss to San Jose State, UO president William Boyd told a reporter he’d “rather be whipped in a public square than sit through a game like that.”[36]

Read was fired, with one year left on his contract, after the 1976 season ended. His teams had gone 3–18 in conference play, were shut out seven times in three seasons, and owned just one win over a team with a winning record (17–3 over Colorado State in 1976).[37][38]

In announcing Read's termination, Oregon athletic director John Caine said it had been a financial decision; Read hadn't shown enough progress to generate interest in season ticket sales, boosters were not making donations, and Read couldn't be sent out recruiting without a contract extension, for which there was no support. Breaking recent—and unsuccessful—tradition, Caine also said "the successor will not come from the current staff ... There is a need for a different approach than we've had here for a number of years ... I'm looking for a multi-talented individual, one with perhaps a different personality and a different background."[39]

It had become clear that drastic action was needed to correct a suffering program. Caine had informed an alumni group that the Oregon football team had lost money the last three seasons. Normally, it is a University's football program that provides funding for other non-revenue sports, but at Oregon, football was siphoning money from the successful basketball program and cutting into the budgets for wrestling, baseball and track.[40]

Brooks era (1977–1994)

Caine could not afford to pay top dollar for a college coach; he told reporters he wouldn't top $35,000 annually for his new head coach, but that he would sweeten the pot with a $100,000 recruiting budget, the second highest in the conference.[41] The coaching search took two weeks. After being rebuffed by Bill Walsh, who took the Stanford job, and Jim Mora, who withdrew his name from consideration because he considered the job a dead end, Caine appointed UCLA assistant coach and Oregon State graduate Rich Brooks as Oregon's 29th head football coach, over finalists Monte Kiffin and Ray Greene.[42]

Brooks got off to a shaky start, with four two-win seasons in his first six years at Oregon.[43][44] In 1980, a pay-for-credit scandal, disclosure of an illegal travel fund, misuse of phone cards and criminal sexual abuse charges against Oregon football players led Brooks to tender his resignation to President Boyd; Boyd refused to accept the resignation.[45] Oregon was placed on probation by the Pac-10 (1980)[46] and NCAA (1982).[47] After several mediocre seasons, including 1983 and an infamous scoreless tie with Oregon State known as the "The Toilet Bowl"[48] the Ducks posted an 8–4 season in 1989, going to the Independence Bowl – Oregon's first postseason appearance in 26 seasons.[49] Brooks would achieve two more bowl games before his final season in 1994.[50]

The pinnacle of Brooks' Oregon career came in his final season, when his team became the Pacific-10 Conference Champions with a 9–3 regular season record and a Rose Bowl appearance.[50] The defining moment of the season came in a game against the 9th-ranked (AP) Washington Huskies, and is widely remembered by Duck fans as "The Pick".[51] Prior to that game, the Ducks had won only three games against the Huskies in 20 seasons, including many heartbreakers in the heated rivalry.[52] Late in the game, with the Ducks nursing a 24–20 lead, Washington was in position to score and take the lead when the Huskies' quarterback Damon Huard threw an interception to Kenny Wheaton, who returned the interception for a 97-yard touchdown, sealing the win for the Ducks. The Pick is replayed on the big screen at Autzen Stadium before each football game.[51] Following the Washington game, the Ducks finished the rest of the regular season without a loss, but lost to Penn State in the 1995 Rose Bowl, 38–20.[50]

After the 1994 season, Rich Brooks announced that he would leave Oregon to become the new head coach of the St. Louis Rams.[53] Although Brooks had a poorer winning percentage, with 91 victories he surpassed Len Casanova to become the winningest coach in school history.[54] The field at Autzen Stadium was dedicated as Rich Brooks Field, in honor of his tenure and accomplishments.[55]

Bellotti era (1995–2008)

Offensive coordinator Mike Bellotti was elevated into the head coaching position after Rich Brooks vacated the position in 1995.[56] During his head coaching career, Bellotti elevated the expectations of the Ducks football program. Season records that in the past would have been deemed acceptable or even laudable became considered mediocre and disappointing.[55] Bellotti was immediately successful, leading the team to a 9–3 record his first year and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl Classic.[57] In his 14 seasons, Bellotti’s teams were selected for 12 bowl games, and only once (2004, 5–6) did the Ducks post a losing record during his tenure.[12]

Bellotti coached the team to the Pac-10 Championship in the 2000 season, shared with Washington and OSU.[58] With a Rose Bowl bid on the line, the Ducks lost the 2000 Civil War at Corvallis, dropping the Ducks to the Holiday Bowl[59] The Ducks defeated Texas 35–30 in the Holiday, for the first 10-win season in program history.[60]


In the 2001 season, senior quarterback Joey Harrington, a Heisman Trophy finalist,[61] led the Ducks to its first 11-win season in program history and an outright Pac-10 championship.[62][63] The season was riddled with close games, 6 of which ended with a spread of one score or less, coining the nickname "Captain Comeback" for Harrington.[64][65] The only loss of the season came at home to the Stanford Cardinal.[65]

The Ducks ended the 2001 regular season ranked No. 2 in both the AP and Coaches polls, but the BCS computer formula ranked Oregon No. 4, behind No. 2 Nebraska – which had been thrashed by Colorado in its final regular season game – and No. 3 Colorado; this kept Oregon out of the national championship game.[66] The discrepancy caused the BCS committee to alter the ranking system for subsequent years to a formula which, if applied in 2001, would have placed Oregon in the national championship game.[67] The 2001 Ducks instead played at the Fiesta Bowl against Colorado. Oregon's run defense stifled Colorado's running game, holding them to just 49 yards on 31 carries. Harrington passed for 350 yards and led the Ducks to a 38–16 win.[68] Oregon settled for a final 2nd place ranking in both the AP and Coaches polls.[69] After the 2001 season, offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford left for the head coaching job at California, replaced by Andy Ludwig.

The 2003 season was highlighted by a big win against the 5th ranked Michigan Wolverines, ruining Michigan's aspirations of a big season during a trip to a west coast game for the third time in four years.[70]

Ludwig resigned as offensive coordinator after a dismal 2004 campaign, the only losing season (5–6) for a Mike Bellotti-coached Oregon team.[71] Recently fired BYU head coach Gary Crowton took the offensive reins;[72] the 2005 season saw a dramatic improvement from 2004, going 10–1 in the regular season, with the only loss to top-ranked USC.[73][74] In the eighth game of the season against the Arizona Wildcats, the senior starting quarterback for the Ducks, Kellen Clemens, suffered a spiral fracture in his ankle, ending his season and his collegiate career.[75] Despite losing Clemens, the Ducks won the game as well as the rest of their regular season games but lost the Holiday Bowl to the Oklahoma Sooners.[73]

In 2006 the team started off well, winning four games to open the season,[73] including a controversial victory against then-ranked #11 Oklahoma.[76] But the Oklahoma victory proved to be the high point of the 2006 season; the team eventually fell apart, going 3–5 for the remainder of the regular season, and were pounded by BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl, losing 8–38 in a dismal performance.[77]

Gary Crowton left Oregon for the offensive coordinator position at Louisiana State University after the 2006 season; Chip Kelly was hired to replace him in February 2007.[78] Kelly's impact was felt immediately, with the 2007 Ducks going 8–1 behind QB Dennis Dixon and ranked as high as No. 2, before being decimated by injuries at quarterback. Finishing the regular season with three straight losses, the Ducks were relegated to the Sun Bowl, where they defeated South Florida 56–21.[79] Geoff Schwartz started from 2005–07 at right tackle, as part of an offense that led the conference in rushing for the first time since 1955 in 2006 and then again in 2007, and was a second-team 2007 All-Pac 10 selection.[80]

The 2008 season saw the emergence of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli as the leader of Chip Kelly’s spread offense. Masoli, a transfer from City College of San Francisco, stepped in against Washington in the season opener, when starter Justin Roper was injured, and led the Ducks to a 44–10 victory.[81] Despite injuries, Masoli cemented himself as the starter by mid-season. In the 2008 Civil War, the Ducks defeated the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, 65–38, knocking the Beavers out of the Rose Bowl.[82] The Ducks went to the Holiday Bowl.[83] In a clash of two teams with high powered offenses, Oregon beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2008 Holiday Bowl and finished the season ranked in the top 10.[84][85]

In March 2009, Bellotti announced his resignation; Kelly would take over as the head coach, and Bellotti was named athletic director, replacing Pat Kilkenny.[86] Bellotti left the program as the winningest coach in Oregon history, with 116 wins and a 67.8 winning percentage.[12]

Kelly era (2009–2012)

In his first season as the head coach of the Ducks, Chip Kelly stumbled out of the gate, losing to Boise State by 11 points in a game ending in controversy with Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount punching Boise State linebacker Byron Hout on national television, after Hout was seen heckling Blount.[87] The Ducks showed only minor improvements with close wins against the Purdue Boilermakers and the Utah Utes.[88] It wasn't until the start of the Pac-10 season that the Ducks began to display their potential, by dismantling the highly ranked California Golden Bears 42–3.[89] The 2009 Ducks only lost one more game, to the Stanford Cardinal in the regular season, to win the Pac-10 title by two games. Oregon went to the 2010 Rose Bowl, where they lost 26–17 to the Ohio State Buckeyes.[73]

During the offseason, the team was mired in controversy. Starting running back LaMichael James was involved in a domestic dispute in which he pleaded guilty to physical harassment of a former girlfriend, and was suspended for the first game of 2010 season.[90] Starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was suspended for the entire 2010 football season over thefts from a local fraternity house.[91] On June 7, Masoli was cited for marijuana possession, driving with a suspended license and failing to stop when entering a roadway. In response, coach Chip Kelly officially removed him from the team.[92]


Despite the loss of Masoli, the Ducks dominated their opponents in the 2010 season. On October 17, the team moved up to the No. 1 ranking in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Poll for the first time in school history.[93] This occurred after the #1-ranked teams, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Alabama Crimson Tide lost in consecutive weeks.

The Ducks finished the regular season with a 12–0 record; winning the conference at 9–0, they were the only team in Pac-10 history to defeat every other conference team in a nine conference game season.[94] Ranked No. 2 in the BCS rankings, the Ducks played Auburn in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, losing on an Auburn field goal as time expired, 22–19.[95]

Despite his opening game suspension, Oregon RB LaMichael James won the 2010 Doak Walker Award as the nation's outstanding college running back.[96] James was also Oregon's first unanimous All-American football player, appearing on all five all-America teams recognized by the NCAA.[97]

Oregon won its third straight conference championship in 2011, winning the new Pac-12 North Division and defeating UCLA in the inaugural Pac-12 Conference Championship Game.[98] The Ducks became the first Pac-12 team other than USC to win three consecutive titles outright since the conference was formed in 1959.[99] LaMichael James became the first player in conference history with three 1,500+ yard rushing seasons, and ranks second on the Pac-12's career rushing list. James was a finalist for the 2011 Doak Walker Award, and was named a finalist for the 2011 Paul Hornung Award. Punter Jackson Rice was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award.[100] On January 2, 2012 the Oregon Ducks won the Rose Bowl, defeating the Wisconsin Badgers 45–38 for the title.[101]

The Ducks continued their streak of national relevance into the 2012 season, reaching the #1 ranking in the AP poll for only the second time in team history on November 12.[102] But a loss at home to Stanford ended Oregon's string of conference championships.[103] The team was selected to play in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State, making Oregon only the fourth team in history to play in four consecutive BCS bowl games.[104] Running back Kenjon Barner was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award and was named Oregon's fifth consensus All-American.[105]

Immediately following the end of the 2012 season, Kelly interviewed for head coaching vacancies with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. Kelly initially declined the offers, but a few weeks later, agreed to terms with the Eagles.[106]

Helfrich era (2013–present)

A few days after Kelly's resignation, offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich was hired to become the Ducks' 32nd head coach.[107]

On June 26, 2013, the football program was penalized with 3 years of probation and a reduction of scholarships by the NCAA but no bowl bans. This decision was made after an investigation into the school's use of football recruiting services under former head coach Chip Kelly.[108]

Championships

Conference Championships

Dating back to their days in the Pacific Coast Conference, Oregon has claimed at least a share of ten conference titles.

Season Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1916† Pacific Coast Conference Daniel Rockholt 6–0–1 2–0–1
1919† Pacific Coast Conference Shy Huntington 5–1–3 2–1
1933† Pacific Coast Conference Prink Callison 9–1 4–1
1948† Pacific Coast Conference Jim Aiken 9–2 7–0
1957† Pacific Coast Conference Len Casanova 7–4 6–2
1994 Pacific 10 Rich Brooks 9–4 7–1
2000† Pacific 10 Mike Bellotti 10–2 7–1
2001 Pacific 10 Mike Bellotti 11–1 7–1
2009 Pacific 10 Chip Kelly 10–3 8–1
2010 Pacific 10 Chip Kelly 12–1 9–0
2011 Pacific 12 Chip Kelly 12–2 8–1
Total Conference Titles 10

Note: †Denotes shared championship.

Divisional Championships

Since the expansion of the Pac-10 in 2010 led to the newly created Pac-12, a conference championship game was installed, pitting the winner from the North Division against the South Division.


Season Division Coach Opponent Championship Game Result
2011 Pac-12 North Chip Kelly UCLA W, 49–31

Note: †Denotes shared championship.


Recruiting

Oregon Ducks Football Scout.com team recruiting rankings:

Class

Scout.com

Rank

Commits

Top Commit

2013

17 19 Thomas Tyner

2012

15 21 Arik Armstead

2011

13 23 De'Anthony Thomas

2010

13 23 Curtis White

2009

26 26 Cliff Harris

2008

23 21 Justin Thompson

2007

9 30 Terrance Pritchett

2006

52 20 Matthew Harper

2005

30 23 Jonathan Stewart

2004

15 29 Cameron Colvin

2003

44 24 Dennis Dixon

2002

31 23 Haloti Ngata


Coaching history

Main article: List of Oregon Ducks head football coaches

Oregon has had 32 head coaches since its founding in 1894. The Ducks have played in more than 1,100 games in 113 seasons. In those seasons, seven different coaches have led Oregon to bowl games: Hugo Bezdek, Shy Huntington, Jim Aiken, Len Casanova, Rich Brooks, Mike Bellotti and Chip Kelly. Conference championships have been won by Huntington, Prink Callison, Jim Aiken, Casanova, Brooks, Bellotti and Kelly. Casanova is the all-time leader in games coached; Mike Bellotti holds the record for most victories, while Chip Kelly is the leader in win percentage for coaches with more than one season of service.

Of the 32 Oregon head coaches, two, Hugo Bezdek and Len Casanova, are in the College Football Hall of Fame as coaches. John McEwan and Clarence Spears are also in the Hall of Fame, but as players at Army and Dartmouth. Brooks and Kelly have each received National Coach of the Year honors from at least one organization. Oregon's current head coach is Mark Helfrich, who was promoted to head coach in 2013 following Chip Kelly's resignation to become coach of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.[107]

Venues and facilities

Main article: Oregon Ducks football venues


Oregon has used six sites as home fields for its football team:

Autzen Stadium, the home of Oregon's football team since 1967, was named in honor of Thomas J. Autzen, a Portland businessman and, ironically, a graduate of rival Oregon State University. After his death, the Autzen Foundation, managed by son and Oregon alum Thomas E. Autzen, gave the university $250,000 towards construction of the facility, completed in 1967.[109] The 59,000 seat stadium is known as a very intimidating and loud environment. Standing room around the rim of the stadium allows the capacity to swell to more than 60,000. On October 27, 2007 in a game against USC, the crowd of 59,277 was able to reach a noise level of 127.2 decibels, the 4th loudest ever recorded at a college football game.[110]

Moshofsky Sports Center, named in honor of former University of Oregon football letterman (1940–42) and long-time university supporter Ed Moshofsky, was dedicated in August 1998, the first indoor practice and training facility in the Pacific-10 Conference. Located south of the Casanova Athletic Center, the Moshofsky Center accommodates the majority of the University’s intercollegiate athletic programs. The $14.6 million facility includes an enclosed full-length artificial surface football field and 120-meter four-lane synthetic surface running track and an automated system in place to lower a batting cage for use by the softball team, as well as protective netting that transforms the facility for use by the men’s and women’s golf teams.[111] A combination of indirect lighting and two parallel skylight panels contribute to an energy efficient system which allows the flexibility to alter lighting conditions.[112]

A new Football Operations Center adjacent to Autzen Stadium, the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, was completed in 2013.[113] Featured in the expansion, which wraps around the north and west sides of the Casanova Center, is a new 25,000-square-foot weight room, an enhanced grass football practice field as well as the addition of two new synthetic turf practice fields, and a full-service dining facility available to all University athletes, students and staff. The six story facility incorporates a centralized football headquarters upstairs incorporating nine dedicated football position meeting rooms, two team video theaters, offense and defense strategy rooms as well as a larger conference suite for the coaching staff. Additional amenities include a players' lounge, a recruiting center to host prospective student-athletes, dedicated areas to accommodate professional scouts, a media interview room as well as an advanced video editing and distribution center. A new outdoor courtyard and plaza to the west of the Casanova Center is designed in the center of the complex, uniting the expansion with the existing Cas Center and Moshofsky Center. The design and construction cost of the $68 million facility was donated by Nike founder and chairman Phil Knight.

Bowl game history

List of bowl games showing bowl played in, score, date, season, opponent, stadium, location, attendance and head coach[A 1]
# Bowl Score[A 2] Date Season[A 3] Opponent[A 4] Stadium Location Attendance[114] Head coach
1 Rose Bowl W 14–0 1916 Penn Quakers Tournament Park Pasadena 27,000 Bezdek, HugoHugo Bezdek
2 Rose Bowl L 6–7 1919 Harvard Crimson Tournament Park Pasadena 35,000 Huntington, Charles A.Charles A. Huntington
3 Cotton Bowl Classic L 13–21 1948 SMU Mustangs Cotton Bowl Dallas 43,000 Aiken, JimJim Aiken
4 Rose Bowl L 7–10 1957 Ohio State Buckeyes Rose Bowl Pasadena 98,202 Casanova, LenLen Casanova
5 Liberty Bowl L 12–41 1960 Penn State Nittany Lions Philadelphia Municipal Stadium Philadelphia 16,624 Casanova, LenLen Casanova
6 Sun Bowl W 21–14 1963 SMU Mustangs Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 26,500 Casanova, LenLen Casanova
7 Independence Bowl W 27–24 1989 Tulsa Golden Hurricane Independence Stadium Shreveport 30,333 Brooks, RichRich Brooks
8 Freedom Bowl L 31–32 1990 Colorado State Rams Anaheim Stadium Anaheim 41,450 Brooks, RichRich Brooks
9 Independence Bowl L 35–39 1992 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Independence Stadium Shreveport 31,337 Brooks, RichRich Brooks
10 Rose Bowl L 20–38 1994 Penn State Nittany Lions Rose Bowl Pasadena 102,247 Brooks, RichRich Brooks
11 Cotton Bowl Classic L 6–36 1995 Colorado Buffaloes Cotton Bowl Dallas 58,214 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
12 Las Vegas Bowl W 41–13 1997 Air Force Falcons Sam Boyd Stadium Whitney 21,514 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
13 Aloha Classic L 43–51 1998 Colorado Buffaloes Aloha Stadium Honolulu 46,451 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
14 Sun Bowl W 24–20 1999 Minnesota Golden Gophers Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 48,757 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
15 Holiday Bowl W 35–30 2000 Texas Longhorns Qualcomm Stadium San Diego 63,278 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
16 Fiesta Bowl W 38–16 2001 Colorado Buffaloes Sun Devil Stadium Tempe 74,118 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
17 Seattle Bowl L 17–38 2002 Wake Forest Demon Deacons Qwest Field Seattle 38,241 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
18 Sun Bowl L 30–31 2003 Minnesota Golden Gophers Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 49,894 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
19 Holiday Bowl L 14–17 2005 Oklahoma Sooners Qualcomm Stadium San Diego 65,416 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
20 Las Vegas Bowl L 8–38 2006 BYU Cougars Sam Boyd Stadium Whitney 44,615 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
21 Sun Bowl W 56–21 2007 South Florida Bulls Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso 49,867 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
22 Holiday Bowl W 42–31 2008 Oklahoma State Cowboys Qualcomm Stadium San Diego 59,106 Bellotti, MikeMike Bellotti
23 Rose Bowl L 17–26 2009 Ohio State Buckeyes Rose Bowl Pasadena 93,963 Kelly, ChipChip Kelly
24 BCS National Championship Game* L 19–22 2010 Auburn Tigers University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale 78,603 Kelly, ChipChip Kelly
25 Rose Bowl W 45–38 2011 Wisconsin Badgers Rose Bowl Pasadena 91,245 Kelly, ChipChip Kelly
26 Fiesta Bowl W 35–17 2012 Kansas State Wildcats University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale 70,242 Kelly, ChipChip Kelly

Rivalries

The Civil War game with Oregon State was originally called the "Oregon Classic" or the "State Championship Game." It is the 7th oldest rivalry in division I FBS football. It is also one of the most heated, especially after Oregon State's 2000 victory knocked the Ducks out of the Rose Bowl; Oregon returned the favor in 2008. In 2009 the teams played with the Rose Bowl bid at stake for both teams for the first time since 1964 (game won by Oregon).

The Oregon–Washington football rivalry, also known as the "Border War,"[115] has been ongoing since 1948 and has incited particularly poor behavior from both Oregon and Washington fans.[116] Oregon's current ten game win streak is the longest in the 110-year history of the series.[117]

Notable players

Many Ducks players have gone on to play football in the professional ranks.[118] Between 1996 and 2008, five players were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft including Jonathan Stewart in 2008, Haloti Ngata in 2006, Joey Harrington in 2002, Akili Smith in 1999, and Alex Molden in 1996.[119] Six former Oregon Ducks football players have been inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame[120] including Gary Zimmerman, Dave Wilcox, Norm Van Brocklin, Dan Fouts, and Mel Renfro.[121] Tuffy Leemans is another NFL Hall of Fame inductee who played for the Oregon freshman team before transferring to George Washington University.[122] Several former players, including Mike Nolan, Gunther Cunningham, John McKay, Jack Patera, John Robinson, Bill Musgrave, and Norv Turner, have become coaches for NFL and college teams.[123][124][125][126] Dan Fouts, Joey Harrington and Ahmad Rashad have become nationally prominent sportscasters after their professional careers.[127][128]

LaMichael James ended his Oregon career after the 2011 season as the most decorated Duck in history. James was the first Oregon player to win a national player award (the 2010 Doak Walker Award), the first back-to-back consensus All-American (2010, 2011), the first Heisman Trophy finalist since Harrington in 2001, and holds virtually every Oregon rushing and scoring record, including:

  • most points scored, season (144, 2010) and career (348)
  • most touchdowns, season (24, 2010) and career (58)
  • most rushing attempts – season (294, 2010)
  • most rushing yards – season (1,805, 2011), career (5,082) (5,082 yards is 14th most in NCAA history and most in a 3-year term)
  • most all-purpose yards – game (363 at Arizona, 9–24–11), career (5,869)
  • most 100-yard rushing games – season (9, 2009, 2010), career (26)
  • most 200-yard rushing games – season (4, 2011), career (7).[129]

Uniforms

The University of Oregon football team has been known in recent years for its unique uniform style, consisting of multiple color combinations of helmets, uniforms (both shirts and pants), socks, and shoes, resulting in a new uniform setup every week (not counting in-season changes to uniform designs). The frequent changes have led to criticism by alumni and football purists,[130] though the changes have been often well-liked and praised by football recruits.[131][132] New uniform schemes are coordinated by Oregon alumnus Tinker Hatfield, an executive at Nike. Nike has had the outfitting rights for the Ducks since 1995.[133]


For several decades in the 20th century, Oregon's uniforms were traditional, generally featuring a yellow helmet (with the original interlocking "UO" emblem) and yellow pants, joined with a green home jersey with gold letters or white road jersey with green letters and "UCLA-style" shoulder loops. During the Jerry Frei era (1967–1971), the helmets were solid green with subtle logo variations. In 1972, new head coach Dick Enright returned the yellow helmet with Green Bay Packer-style green and white striping and no logos, a helmet style that continued until 1977, when new head coach Rich Brooks added the green block-style interlocking "UO" emblem. In 1985, the team added the Oregon Donald Duck logo to the jersey sleeves. Mike Bellotti made subtle changes in the livery, removing the striping from the helmet, jersey and pants, and adding a green variation of the pants.[134]

The Oregon uniform underwent a radical change for the 1999 season, where new, Nike-designed gear featuring a redesigned "O" emblem with solid green helmets and jerseys with lightning yellow letters were revealed.[135] This began a period of unusually non-uniform standards for a typical college football team. Since 1999, Oregon has completely revised its uniform appearance roughly every three seasons.[136] The frequent uniform changes and their typically flashy uniform have provoked some controversy. Fans of a more traditional approach to college football tend to ridicule each new uniform as it is released,[137] while younger fans and players—in particular, potential Oregon athletes—react more favorably to the flashy nature of the livery.[138]

The football team used nine different football combinations in the 2005 season, but introduced even more combinations in the 2006 season.[139] The new uniforms in 2006 provided 384 possible different combinations of jerseys, pants, helmets, socks, and shoes. A metallic-yellow colored helmet with silver flames, which debuted in the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl, increased the possible combinations to 512.[140] These uniforms were more technologically advanced than other uniforms, 28% lighter when dry, 34% lighter when wet, and greater durability with reinforcing diamond plating patterns at the joints.[133] The Ducks wore the previously announced white helmets for the first time on October 20, 2007 in Seattle, when they played the Washington Huskies.[141] In 2008, during the Arizona-Oregon game, they wore new, all black uniforms nicknamed "lights out", but instead of the typical metal diamond plated shoulder pads, the new uniforms had a wing pattern.[142][143]

Only once has the original "block UO" helmet emblem made a comeback, when it was worn along with a throwback jersey, against Cal in 2009.[144] However, the neo-throwback green jersey with gold letters, with the modern logo instead of the "UO" on the yellow helmet, did appear in the 2009 Civil War.[145]

For the Arizona game in 2008, Oregon unveiled a new uniform design based on the "lights out" design from the previous season featuring the "wings" pattern on the shoulder pads as well as a more simplified uniform design, while retaining the number font style of "Bellotti Bold" and the colors of green, black, white, yellow, grey, gold, and steel.[146] This was the primary uniform design from 2009 through the 2011 regular season.

Another uniform revision was introduced at the 2012 Rose Bowl and carried forward into the 2012 season, with the "wings" moving from the shoulder pads to the helmets as chrome decals, and a broader "feather" detail with iridescent fabric highlights. Five different helmets are incorporated into the uniform kit.[147] [148]

On October 19, 2013, Oregon wore special Breast Cancer Awareness uniforms in a game against Washington State. In addition to new bold pink helmets, the Ducks wore pink Nike Vapor Talon Elite cleats, pink Nike Vapor Carbon Elite socks and pink Vapor Jet gloves in combination with their black Nike Pro Combat uniform system.[149] The special edition uniforms were designed to raise awareness and funds for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund as the helmets were auctioned off.

Past uniforms

References


External links

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