Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich is the likely successor to Chip Kelly if Kelly does in fact head to the NFL.
In what would come as a surprise to very few, USA Today's George Schroeder reports that the University of Oregon would move quickly to promote current Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to head coach if in fact Chip Kelly decides to leave the program for the NFL.
According to a source with direct knowledge in the article, Schroeder reports that with a promotion of Helfrich, the aim would be to continue to build upon the unprecedented success ushered in by Kelly since the fourth-year head coach took over for former Oregon head man Mike Bellotti prior to the 2009 season.
"Conceptually, it's about continuity," the source in the USA Today article told Schroeder, adding that Helfrich could be named head coach within 72 hours of Kelly's departure. The source also added that Boise State's Chris Petersen would not be considered a candidate if Kelly were to leave.
Helfrich was pegged to be the head coach last January after Kelly nearly took the head coaching position for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however that plan was scrapped after Kelly ultimately decided to remain at Oregon.
The only potential hang-up with Helfrich's prospective promotion would be an Oregon state law which requires public universities to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching positions.
"We've got boxes to check," the source told USA Today. "There obviously is a process, and those things will be done appropriately. But we'll still end up with the same conclusion."