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Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)
Oregon fired coach Mark Helfrich after a disappointing 4-8 season, and just two years after getting the Ducks within a victory of the program's first national championship.
Helfrich was head coach of the Ducks for four seasons, leading the team to the first College Football Playoff championship game after the 2014 season. But Oregon faltered this year with a five-game losing streak, and finished at the bottom of the Pac-12 North with just two conference wins.
Helfrich was 37-16 record after taking over from Chip Kelly in 2013. He had an $11.6 million buyout on his contract with the Ducks.
Helfrich met with athletic director Rob Mullens on Tuesday night and was told was being dismissed. Helfrich issued a statement saying he was honored to have served at Oregon.
"Plain and simple - we didn't win enough games this season," Helfrich said.
Oregon had not fired a head coach since 1976, when Don Read was let go after three seasons.
Ducks started this season ranked No. 24 in the preseason AP Top 25, but lost 35-32 at Nebraska in the third week of the season, starting the team's longest losing streak since 1996.
The Ducks had a brief revival with a 30-28 victory over then-No. 11 Utah in Salt Lake City two weeks ago, but they ended the season with a 34-24 loss to rival Oregon State in the 120th Civil War game this past Saturday. The loss snapped an eight-game Oregon winning streak in the series.
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