It’s now official.
Former linebacker coach Don Pellum is Oregon’s new defensive coordinator.
Pellum was officially elevated to his new position on Tuesday by Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich after what was described as an internal and national coaching search.
Pellum takes over for Nick Aliotti who retired recently after leading the Ducks to their 30-7 win over Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl on December 30th.
Big shoes to fill no doubt said Pellum when he met with reporters Tuesday afternoon.
“The biggest thing about Nick is just his passion” explained Pellum when asked about filling Aliotti’s shoes.
“Nick was the first guy here…non-stop great energy and a really good man. The biggest thing is this…his passion and how he worked…Nick is really an intelligent football coach. The way he would break down some of the film and the way he looked at it is something I will actually talk to him about cause I thought he did a really nice job in that area.”
* IN OTHER FOOTBALL NEWS
In other football news, Erik Chinander has been hired by Mark Helfrich and the University of Oregon football program as the Ducks new outside linebackers coach.
According to a statement on GoDucks.com, Chinander returns to Eugene after spending the 2013 season with Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles as an assistant defensive line coach under former Duck coach Jerry Azzinaro.
Chinander, pronounced ( Sha-nan-der ), returns to Eugene after spending three seasons ( 2010-2012 ) as an intern and graduate assistant under Chip Kelly before Kelly left for the Eagles job.
“Erik is a proven coach and recruiter who also offers an injection of youth and enthusiasm into our defense,” Helfrich said in Wednesday’s statement.
“He brings with him a familiarity of what we want to do yet his experience at a number of different levels will provide us with a fresh perspective.”
As a member of the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff, Chinander assisted with the development of the teams defensive game plans as well as the teams practice plans which included coordinating the scout teams and evaluation of personnel.
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and am excited to return to a program with a successful history and potential for further greatness at the University of Oregon,” Chinander said in the statement.
“I’m anxious to contribute to the momentum that Coach Helfrich has provided in his short time as head coach and am looking forward to working with a defensive staff that is among the best in the country.”
VIDEO: Watch the Don Pellum press briefing by clicking on the image shown above.