“Success comprises in itself the seeds of its own decline and sport is not spared by this law” —Pierre de Coubertin
Oregon Football use to be the toast of the college football universe. The program had great facilities, incredible boosters, and an avid fan base. With Nike’s backing, the team had unlimited uniform combinations and tons of media coverage.
However, success is fueled by wins, and when losses mount…well…college football can be a fickle lover.
Following a disastrous Alamo Bowl loss, in which Oregon once lead by more than 30-points, and a 2016 campaign that finished with an abysmal four wins. The once proud program finished at the bottom of its conference and division.
Something needed to be done, so the University of Oregon’s Athletic Department made a drastic move. A maneuver that hadn’t been done since the 1970s. Fire its head coach.
The last firing of an Oregon Football Head Coach occurred in 1976, when Don Reid was dismissed. During the last 40-years, the program has hired head coaches from within its system. A strategy that’s created a continuity unrivaled in college football; however, that streak ended in 2016 with the termination of Mark Helfrich.
Why? Coach Helfrich took over a program that was souring. His tenure as head coach saw a decline in recruiting, a breakdown in discipline, and slippage in fan enthusiasm.
Oregon alumni and fans can only hope that Oregon’s decline is short lived. Perhaps, the UO’s Athletic Department has taken a step in the right direction by hiring its new head coach: Willie Taggart.
Duck Nation will soon see if Coach Taggart and his new coaching staff corrects Oregon’s woes. Just maybe, he is the shot in the arm that is needed to right the ship and return the Ducks to their Golden Era.