The 34-year-old Iowa native served as assistant defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 season following three years as an intern (2010) and graduate assistant (2011-12) for the Ducks under former head coach Chip Kelly. In his previous Oregon stint, Chinander assisted with the program's defensive line while concentrating his efforts on the "drop-end" position.
Included among his pupils were all-conference standouts Kenny Rowe, Brandon Bair and Dion Jordan, who was the No. 3 overall pick in last year's NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. All three players remained on NFL rosters at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
"Erik is a proven coach and recruiter who also offers an injection of youth and enthusiasm into our defense," Helfrich said. "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."
With the Eagles, he was involved in assisting with the development of defensive game and practice plans, coordinating the scout teams and the evaluation of current and future personnel.
Philadelphia advanced to the NFL playoffs as the NFC East Division champions. The Ducks made three BCS bowl appearances during his tenure, including the 2011 BCS National Championship and wins in the 2012 Rose and 2013 Fiesta bowls in addition to claiming a pair of conference championships.
"I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and am excited to return to a program with a history and potential for further greatness as the University of Oregon," Chinander said. "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."
Prior to his previous Oregon stay, Chinander coached fullbacks and tight ends at Northern Iowa from 2004 through 2009 in addition to assisting with the offensive line, and was in charge of both the offensive and defensive lines at Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College in 2003.
UNI won three league titles and played for the 2005 FCS national championship while Ellsworth CC finished second in the region in 2003.
As a coach, Chinander has been associated with football programs that have accumulated an 11-year record of 104-35.
The former offensive line walk-on at the University of Iowa earned bachelor's degrees in health leisure and sports studies, as well as history, in 2003.