Mark Helfrich Accepts CU OC Position

Arizona State quarterback coach/passing game coordinator Mark Helfrich has accepted the offensive coordinator position at Colorado. The move was announced to the Sun Devils' team on Sunday in Arizona, where ASU is in the midst of practices for the Insight.com Bowl. Helfrich will join Dan Hawkins' staff in the days after the Dec. 27 bowl game.

An Arizona State athletic department official confirmed that Helfrich had taken the CU job on Sunday evening.

Helfrich has been on Dirk Koetter's staff at ASU since the 2001 season. Before that, he was quarterbacks coach at Boise State under Koetter for three seasons. There, Helfrich worked alongside Dan Hawkins, Colorado's new head coach.

At Arizona State, Helfrich developed a reputation for luring and developing good quarterbacks. Former Sun Devil Andrew Walter (who prepped at Grand Junction High School) flourished under Helfrich's watch, before being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round. Walter left ASU after breaking John Elway's Pac 10 career touchdown mark (80).

In 2002, Arizona State set a Pac 10 single-season passing mark of 4,254 yards.

Here are Helfrich's quotes on taking over as CU's Offensive Coordinator.

General comments:
"It's bittersweet. I love a lot of guys on this football team, and any transition is difficult. Being here for five years, you get to know a lot people in a lot of different ways. But on the same token I'm excited."

"It's a different challenge. I've been with Coach Koetter for nine years and it has been great. I learned so much, and he has been awesome throughout all this process. This will show me if I'm ready (for the position) and I think I am. I'm very appreciative of the opportunity that Hawk (Newly appointed Colorado Head Coach Dan Hawkins) has given me." He added that the process was very quick from the time Hawkins was reported to possibly bring the coach.

Emotions when breaking news to his quarterbacks:
"I cried like I lost my puppy when I told those guys yesterday (Saturday), and that was the most difficult part. You spend everyday with those guys and they are great people. That was the single hardest factor by far in this whole thing. Not to mention that they are pretty good."

Koetter's offense similar to Hawkins?
"They are very similar, but not identical. We're gonna adapt (to the team's talent) and make something better hopefully, if that's possible."

Play calling. Did Helfrich call a lot of plays under Koetter?
"All that stuff (passing game coordinator) is just word and titles. We did a lot of collaborative stuff. I've been in that role (offensive coordinator) per say, sure. Now, I'll be the one to blame and that's great (smile)."

Anticipation for ASU-Colorado game in 2006?
"I didn't realize that to tell you the truth. I'm not licking my chops."

Hawkins, whose hiring at Colorado will be effective Jan. 1, spent Saturday in Boulder and was to fly back to Boise Sunday.

Word has circulated that Hawkins has also been talking to California Bears defensive coordinator Bob Gregory, who coached under Hawkins as defensive coordinator at Boise State in 2001.


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