UO football coach Bellotti next athletic director; Kelly to stay as coach

UO football coach Bellotti next athletic director; Kelly to stay as coach

EUGENE, Ore. -- Calling speculation and uncertainty unhealthy to the recruiting efforts of the college football team, University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer announced a "succession plan" that provides for Mike Bellotti to move from head football coach to athletic director and for offensive coordinator Chip Kelly to take over as head coach.

"When it comes time for Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny to step down, it would be my intention to promote Coach Mike Bellotti to that position," Frohnmayer said. "It would be the intention of the AD and the president at that point to appoint Mr. Kelly to the position of football coach."

Offensive coordinator Kelly named Bellotti successor at Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon has picked offensive coordinator Chip Kelly to be head coach Mike Bellotti's eventual successor, though school officials did not say when that will happen.

Bellotti will become the school's athletic director when he steps down. He said Tuesday he will coach the Ducks in their bowl game and continue to recruit.

Asked if he would step down after this season, Bellotti told reporters he didn't think so.

Bellotti is 115-55 in 14 seasons at Oregon and has taken the Ducks to 12 bowl games. The Ducks are 9-3 this season.

Kelly becomes the latest coach-in-waiting, a trend in major college football these days. Texas recently announced defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will eventually replace Mack Brown.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

The move keeps Kelly at Oregon. The offensive coordinator had been mentioned as a possible head coach candidate elsewhere.

"I will not speak to any other schools," Kelly said. "I'm a Duck."

When asked directly about reports he planned to interview at Syracuse Wednesday, Kelly said, "No, I'm not interviewing at Syracuse tomorrow."

None of the players set forth any timeline for when the change would take place.

"I will not step down immediately," Bellotti said. "At some time -- and again, probably it could be a year, it could be more, it could be less -- the reality is I think we have a plan that addresses continuity for our program."

Frohnmayer announced his plans to step down as president of the UO, effective after the end of the school year in 2009.

The UO invited the media to a 3:30 p.m. phone press conference via e-mail received at KVAL at 2:49 p.m.

Frohnmayer apologized for the hasty announcement but wanted to put to rest rumors about the football program.

"Speculation, particularly at this sensitive time in the football recruitment and bowl season time, isn't healthy for a football program," he said.

Kelly and Bellotti took part in the call via cell phone. Both coaches are on the road recruiting.