LSU and Texas have both dealt with letting go of their Head Coaches already. After beating Texas A&M, the Tigers took the interim tag off of Ed Orgeron and named him the new head coach. Texas fired Charlie Strong after three years and immediately hiring former Houston head coach Tom Herman after. Now Oregon has parted ways with head coach Mark Helfrich just two years after leading the Ducks to an appearance in the National Championship Game. This may be the most enticing job on the market with the style of play the Oregon is known for as well as its strong ties to Nike. Athletic Rob Mullins has stated that they will look at coaches currently
outside the program.
The recently fired Les Miles would be a terrific coach for the Ducks by improving
two of their weakest areas as a program: Recruiting and Defense. Miles was able to
get the top players in hotbed states like Texas and Georgia to come to Baton Rogue. If
he came to take over in Eugene, he could still continue his recruiting reign in the
south and also bring in more top athletes in California, taking players that would’ve
gone to USC or UCLA. On the defensive side, he assembled a deadly secondary in
2011 that included Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, and Eric Reid. With a great recruiter,
defensive minded coach, and a little bit of trickery, Les Miles would be a great
fit as the next leader of the Ducks.
Ever since the Eagles fired Kelly last December, returning to Eugene has been on a lot of people’s minds. With the Eagles, he’s struggled to assemble the prototypical players to run his offense due to the salary cap and lack of draft picks. Kelly could get any player he wants through recruiting without giving up players or draft picks in college. Now with the 49ers who hold a 1-11 record, Kelly has said he doesn’t plan on bolting the team for a college job. Ironically he signed with the Eagles a week after announcing he would no longer consider taking an NFL coaching position back in 2013. With Chip Kelly back leading the ship, the Ducks could get back to the dominant team they were before he left.
If Oregon is looking for a coach that can turn their program around, Fleck is their guy. At 36, Fleck has turned a Western Michigan team that had a single win in 2013 into the undefeated MAC Champions this season with an opportunity to play in the Cotton Bowl looming. Similar to Chip Kelly’s “Win The Day” that is preached at Oregon, PJ Fleck and his Broncos live by their motto, “Row The Boat.” Fleck breaks down this concept with the Oar which represents the energy that you bring into your life. The boat represents the sacrifice and what you are willing to give up. The third part is the compass. It represents the direction of your life. As Fleck says if your friends with turds, you’re going to Turdville, but if your friends with elite people, you will live a successful life. Fleck has created a winning culture at Western Michigan and I believe he can do it in Eugene as well. In my opinion, Chip Kelly would be the ideal coach to lead the Ducks, but I believe he will stay in the NFL. PJ Fleck is an up and coming coach that has a drive to be great. Taking his “Row The Boat” mentality to Oregon would be a big change to a program that needs a spark in leadership. Both Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich were laid back coaches and with a fiery PJ Fleck, the Ducks could go places. My vote is PJ Fleck. I believe he has what it takes to succeed at a high level and that he can get Oregon back to the sizzling team they once were.