March 13th, 2009 By HANK STERN | News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Sports, Sports

Mike Bellotti Steps Down As Oregon Football Coach. His Top Five and Bottom Five Moments

     
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Long-time Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti is stepping down to move into the athletic director's job starting July 1.

No great shock there, as the Ducks announced with great fanfare last fall that offensive coordinator Chip Kelly had already been lined up to replace Bellotti when he became athletic director. According to the Ducks athletic office, Kelly will start as head coach March 30 with the start of spring practice.

But still for long-time Ducks fans, it is obviously a good time to take stock of Bellotti's accomplishments and disappointments. I'm sure I'm forgetting some moments, but here's my insta-list of Top Five memories, good and bad, in the Bellotti era:

Big moments

1) Oregon's Fiesta Bowl Bowl win in 2002 over Colorado.

2) The 8-1 start to the 2007 season, including huge home wins over USC, Arizona State and the road beat-down of Michigan.

3) The Ducks' 2008 Civil War win over OSU to knock the Beavers out of the Rose Bowl.

4) Oregon's 2003 win over Michigan that put the Ducks on the cover of Sports Illustrated the following week (though it set off one of the all-time "SI cover jinxes").

5) Oregon's 2001 road win over Washington State the week after the Ducks had suffered their only loss of the season to Stanford

Big disappointments

1) The total collapse at the end of the 2007 season after quarterback/Heisman Trophy candidate Dennis Dizon Dixon went down with an injury.

2) OSU's beat-down of Oregon in the 2000 Civil War when both teams entered the game with one loss.

3) The 2006 Las Vegas Bowl debacle against Brigham Young.

4) The 2002 Seattle Bowl embarrassment against Wake Forest.

5) Oregon's loss in the 2004 home opener to Indiana.
 
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