Oregon Athletic Director Leaves to Join ESPN

March 23rd, 2010,  By Bryan Cross

Mike Bellotti coached the Oregon Ducks for 14 seasons, before retiring and taking the position as the Director of Athletics for the University.  Tuesday he announced that he will be leaving the University and joining the ESPN family as a member of the College football specialists.

Having only been in the Athletic Director role since July, he moves on and will breakdown film and provide in-studio analysis throughout the course of the college football season.  On ESPNU during the April 17th broadcast, Bellotti will make his appearance.

“I am really excited to join the best team in college football broadcasting,” Bellotti remarked. “Working as an analyst for ESPN is a dream come true and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will bring the insight, experience and expertise I have gathered from 36 years of coaching college football to the studio and telecast booth. Spring ball is in full swing, I can’t wait to start.”

Under his tenure as the leader of the Ducks football program, Bellotti tabbed a 116-55 record, assuming the title of the winningest coach in program history.  Bellotti’s most successful campaign was during the 2001 season when the Ducks finished with 11 wins and a Fiesta Bowl victory over Colorado, to finish second in the Nation’s final poll.

“Coach Bellotti ranks as one of the most successful head coaches in the perennial power Pac-10 Conference,” remarked Norby Williamson who is ESPN’s executive vice president, production. “His knowledge and experience will deepen our roster of analysts and provide us with a unique perspective of someone who recently coached in the game.”

Bellotti first joined the Ducks in 1989 in the role of both offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“He wanted to get back in football. That’s the impression I got,”Oregon coach Chip Kelly said to ESPN. “He’s really, genuinely excited about the opportunity. I’m happy for him. I’m sad. I had one of the best situations. When your AD actually understands what it’s like to be football coach, it’s great.”

His leaving the Oregon program comes at an interesting time in Oregon athletics, with the recent off-the-field troubles that have plagued the football team.  This includes the year-long suspension of starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.  Masoli along with a former wide receiver, who were arrested on burglary charges.

Prior to this, running back LaMichael James plead guilty to charges of harassment, and will not play in the season opener.  James was the Pac-10 offensive freshman of the year.

USA Online Sportsbooks had the Ducks as a top contender for the 2010-11 national championship, but their odds have since slipped to 15/1 on Bodog.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Oregon Athletic Director Leaves to Join ESPN”
  1. Lonnie Turner Says:

    I had the pleasure of coaching with Mike in his first year of coaching on the UC Davis freshman team under Neal Zoumbukous (sp) in 1973. That was after playing with Mike in 1970 and 71 at UC Davis under Hall of Fame coach Jim Sochor. We played together in the Davis “miracle game”, where Davis scored 16 points in the final 20 seconds against Cal State Hayward to win by one point. Mike caught the touchdown that put us within one point as time expired (the 2 point conversion came next). Mike was actually a great reciever in his day. He set the single game program record of 204 yards in receiving yards against Humbolt State in 1972. I think he’s still about 4th all time for single game receiving. Mike is a class act and fine coach. To my knowledge, he always treated fellow coaches and players with respect. All the best to you, Mike. It’s been fun following your career! I’ll see you on TV!

Best USA Gambling Sites
Top USA Casinos
Visit Casino
Top USA Sportsbooks
Bookmaker Sportsbook
DSI Sportsbook
Top USA Poker Rooms