Oregon extends coach Mark Helfrich

ByKyle Bonagura ESPN logo
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

After leading Oregonto the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T in his second season as coach, Mark Helfrich has been rewarded with a five-year, $17.5 million contract extension through the 2019-20 season, the school announced Monday.

"Mark has provided tremendous leadership of our football program and the values and character that he insists upon are in line with our mission as an institution," Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. "The success of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom will continue with Mark's leadership and we are thrilled that he will stay at home in Oregon for a long time to come."

In the two years since being elevated from offensive coordinator upon Chip Kelly's departure for the NFL, Helfrich, 41, who grew up an Oregon fan, has guided the Ducks to a 24-4 record.

He is guaranteed to earn $3.15 million during the first year of the extension and will earn $3.8 million during the final year of the deal, which runs through Jan. 31, 2020. His previous contract ran through Jan. 19, 2018, but due to the terms of that agreement, it automatically extended another season once Oregon beat Florida Statein the College Football Playoff.

He earned a guaranteed salary of $1.8 million under the prior deal, but earned more than $400,000 in incentives -- including $150,000 for appearing in the national championship and $100,000 for winning the Pac-12.

Helfrich's new deal also includes an automatic one-year rollover should the Ducks win at least 11 games, one of which being one of the New Year's Six bowls (Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose or Sugar).

Helfrich would be responsible for a $3 million buyout if he leaves for another coaching job before finishing the second year of the contract. That number drops to $2 million following Year 2 and $1 million following Year 4.

Before joining Kelly's staff at Oregon in 2009, Helfrich was the offensive coordinator at Coloradofor three years and served as the quarterbacks coach at Arizona State(2001-05) and Boise State(1998-00) before that. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oregon in 1997 under head coach Mike Bellotti.

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