Oregon hired South Florida coach Willie Taggart, a disciple of the Harbaugh Way, to replace Mark Helfrich with the Ducks.
The move represents a major philosophical change at Oregon. The Ducks became synonymous with offense under Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly and Helfrich, with a shotgun, fastbreaking system that piled up points but never produced a national championship.
Kelly, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, said last week he had no interest in returning to Eugene despite a plea from Helfrich to return to the Ducks.
Helfrich coached the Ducks to a 37-16 record after taking over for Kelly in 2013. He led the team to the College Football Playoff championship game after the 2014 regular season, but the Ducks went 9-4 in 2015 and fell to 4-8 this season, including a 34-24 defeat at Oregon State on Saturday.
"It is a great honor to have served as the head football coach at the University of Oregon," Helfrich said. "It is with respect and disappointment that we receive this decision. Plain and simple -- we didn't win enough games this season."
This was the first season since 2004 that Oregon finished with a losing record and without a bowl appearance. The Ducks had won at least nine games in eight consecutive seasons prior to this one.
Here are 4 things we know about the Ducks new head coach:
1. Taggart, 40, played quarterback at Western Kentucky for Jack Harbaugh and later served as running backs coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh.
2. Taggart represents a stronger commitment to a run-first, pro-style system that will also stress excellence defensively.
3. USF won 17 of its last 21 games under Taggart, who is 40-45 overall as a head coach including three seasons at Western Kentucky. This year's 10-2 record was the best in USF school history.
4. The unusual development for Oregon, which last fired its football coach in 1976, will be an expensive one. Due to terms of his buyout, Helfrich, 43, is owed $11.6 million for the remaining three years of his contract, according to The Oregonian. The staff is also owed a combined $3.7 million in buyouts, if none are retained.