The Oregon Ducks are looking for a football coach as they fired Mark Helfrich late Tuesday night. Not only did the school fire him, but also gave a pretty damning statement and one that says more about the athletics department than the coach. They pretty much said, “he sucked so we didn’t want to keep him” without actually using the words.
Helfrich brought the Ducks to the Rose Bowl with Marcus Mariota at the front, but went 13-12 over the last two seasons, which is what did him in. Now the Ducks are looking for a replacement and it looks like they may be close to finding a new coach already.
John Canzano from The Oregonian believes that major benefactor Phil Knight has already chosen Schiano. Here’s his thoughts on it:
While Oregon and Oregon State were kicking off in a Civil War that would expose the Ducks defense as gentle unit, Knight was in Columbus, 2,064 aerial miles away, giving a victory speech in the Ohio State locker room.
“Of the Top 25 NCAA teams, Nike supplies 20 of them and none of those teams are we more proud of than the one in this dressing room,” said Knight. “Congratulations. You were fabulous.”
Knight looked joyful and engaged. He was in the presence of a winning program that made him proud. But it was who was in the room, particularly taking a knee to Knight’s left, near the smiling Meyer, that caught my attention. That would be Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. Because regardless of how and why Knight ended up in that locker room, it’s Schiano who has emerged as a strong candidate in this search.
It was believed that he was there to just visit two of the blue blood Nike programs, but it turns out the visit may have had a second purpose. Schiano also has NFL experience and was head coach at Rutgers where he had a 68-67 record and even led the team to an 11-2 season.
[h/t Eleven Warriors]