Bellotti's Retirement Is Bittersweet

Bellotti's Retirement Is Bittersweet

It doesn't matter how long they talk about it and you try to prepare yourself for it, it still comes as a shock.

(This article was originally published on Bleacher Report)

I feel like I just got punched in the stomach and my dog ran away at the same time.

After 14 seasons, Oregon Ducks head coach Mike Bellotti is calling it quits. He will take up new residence in the athletic director's office.

Offensive coordinator Chip Kelly takes the reigns as head coach.

The transition was announced last December, but there was never a date set as to when it would all happen.

Kelly will be the head coach in spring practices when they start at the end of March.

Bellotti will work with current athletic director Pat Killkenny until June 30 and then assume the duties on July 1st.

I grew up in the Rich Brooks years. I have only known two coaches at the University of Oregon. The first built the program up to where they were playing in bowls. Brooks was a good building coach.

Bellotti took that success and built on it.

Bellotti has a record of 116-55 as the head coach of the Ducks. He is the all-time winning coach in Oregon history.

He has taken Oregon to 12 bowls in 14 seasons.

Bellotti guided Oregon to their highest ranking in school history, No. 2 in 2001. Bellotti is also the only coach in Oregon history to win 10-plus games in a season.

The time was right for him. He leaves on a high note. Oregon finished 2008 with a 10-win season, a top 10 ranking and wins over rival Oregon State and a Holiday bowl win.

He leaves the team in good shape to a hand picked successor. Kelly has been the offensive coordinator for two season and Oregon has finished with off the charts offensive numbers.

Still, as good a coordinator Kelly has been, he is an unproven head coach. Then again, for the most part, so was Bellotti when he took over for Brooks.

Thank you, Mike Bellotti, for everything you have done.

View more stories on the Oregon Football Page at Bleacher Report Recommended Stories

  • SAN FRANCISCO -- Some quick hit comments from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott on the state of the Pac-12 and some new initiatives that are coming this men's basketball season, including an update on…

  • Oregon heads to drought-stricken California to face the Bears and their potentially potent offense. The Ducks have strung together two balanced and convincing wins on the road and at home, with…

  • No. 6 Oregon travels south to take on a high-powered California offense on Friday night. Jake and Robby have your full preview here on the podcast.

  • Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Jeb Gorham digs in his list of rankings to find the best sleepers for deeper formats. Consider giving these players a chance, but be aware of the risk! Tampa Bay…

  • Check out this classic video of Dan Larson battling an acrobatic sailfish on a trip to the world-famous Tropic Star Lodge in Panama.

Up Next