Ducks' Bellotti stepping down as head football coach

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by By ERIC ADAMS, Kgw.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on December 2, 2008 at 4:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 17 at 9:07 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The man credited with rebuilding the Oregon Ducks football team will become University of Oregon athletic director on July 1.

Video: Bellotti, Kelly to get promotions

The university announced Friday that long-time Ducks coach Mike Bellotti won't be returning to head up the football team for the 2009-10 season. As of July 1, he will be overseeing the entire UO athletics department.

Ducks offensive coordinator Chip Kelly was named to replace Bellotti last December. He will take over as head coach at the beginning of spring practice on March 30, the university said.

Bellotti has been Ducks coach for the last 14 seasons, with a record of 116-55.

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"I could not be happier that Mike Bellotti has agreed to assume management of the athletics department," university president Dave Frohnmayer said when the transition was first announced last December.

Since his elevation to head coach in February 1995 Bellotti has guided Oregon to a No. 2 ranking in the country, a Fiesta Bowl win following the 2001 season and 12 total bowl appearances.

Last season, the Ducks went 10-3 with a 42-31 win over Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl. They finished the season ranked 10th in the nation.

The Ducks have finished among the nation's Top 25 college football teams five times in the last nine seasons under Bellotti, and are poised to do so once again this year.

Pat Kilkenny has served as UO athletic director since February 2007; his contract was set to expire this year.

University officials have said Kilkenny will continue to serve in another, limited capacity once Bellotti takes over as athletics director.

"I am pleased we are able to announce (Bellotti) will remain at Oregon once his storied coaching career concludes," Kilkenny said. "I am confident (Kelly) will be a highly successful leader of our football program."

Kelly has served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the last two years.

"This is an incredible opportunity for me and I am honored to be named the head coach designate for one of the elite programs in the nation," Kelly said last December, when announced as future head coach.

Kelly also said the team would remain focused on pursuing the Pac 10 championship -- and a national championship.

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