How high can a Duck soar?

Well, for the first time in school history, we’re about to find out.  I’ll go out on a limb and predict all the way to the BCS Championship Game.  We’re in the midst of an historic season with a legend–in-the-making coach, Chip Kelly.  Kelly was a head coach, who came to the Ducks as an Offensive Coordinator, certainly a step down.

Chip coming to Oregon is an interesting story, which I had heard first hand.  Coach Kelly was the keynote speaker at a function I attended.  Kelly related receiving a phone call from the then-current Duck head coach, Mike Belloti.  Coach Kelly, thinking it as a prank by one of his buddies, hung up the phone.  Undeterred, Coach Belloti called back, insisting he was who he said he was, and I have a proposal for you to consider taking a job as Offensive Coordinator for the Ducks.  At first, Kelly was underwhelmed by the offer, thinking, “why would I leave the East Coast, family, and friends, for a place he barely knew of, and had never even been to the West Coast.  Coach Belloti told him to look at it as a recruiting trip.

Coach Kelly took that recruiting trip, and the Duck football program has been on the increase ever since.  He arrived at the Duck facilities, and as we’ve all witnessed through his entertaining interviews, he’s not a man into hype and glitz- direct and to the point (we’re here to play football and win).  Instead of the state of the art facilities, what attracted him to Oregon was the fact that the coaching staff had been with the Duck program an average of 10-15 years each- if assistant coaches, who often move on to bigger and better opportunities, stay around that long, there must be something special about this place, and I want to be a part of it.

As a lifelong Duck fan, growing up idolizing stars like Dan Fouts, Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad), Bob Newland, and Tom Blanchard, I remember clearly that having a winning season was a very big accomplishment, and if you beat either USC or UCLA, the Heavens seem to open up, and you could celebrate the entire year!  Watching the program become more and more successful over the years, getting to the Rose Bowl in grand fashion in 95 with the Kenny Weaton interception against the Huskies, with Joey Harrington bringing us to the #2 ranking in the nation, and the return to the Rose Bowl last year, have shown that Oregon has finally arrived on the national scene in a big way.  It’s no fluke where we’re at today.  Our head coach/river boat gambler Coach Kelly, will take the wind out of any team’s sail, and our fast tempo and speed can score at a record breaking pace.

Having the National spotlight shine on Duck football, as well as the entire U of O, showcases our incredible facilities, thanks in large part to well-known alumni like Phil Knight.  All of the attention showcases the University, and Eugene, as a very special place.

With just 2 games to go, history is within reach.  A tough game at home against Arizona.