Excited and Honored at Hall of Fame Selection

Mike Bellotti spent nearly 40 years coaching young men in a sport that Bellotti loved and on Thursday the former Oregon headman was inducted into College Football's Hall of Fame. Bellotti said in a media conference call that the honor caused him to reflect back on all the former coaches, players, administrators that contributed to his success at Oregon and elsewhere.

"It's exciting, humbling," said Mike Bellotti of his induction into the Hall of Fame. "It's an honor."

The former Oregon head coach spent 14 years as the top Duck before taking the Athletic Directorship for two years and had put in an additional six years as the offensive coordinator under Rich Brooks. Bellotti began his coaching career at his Alma Mater UC Davis, spending time learning from another HOF coach, Jim Sochor. From there Bellotti moved to Cal State Hayward (now California State University, East Bay) then to Weber State and Chico State where he was head coach.

In 1989 he joined Brooks staff as offensive coordinator and in 1995 took over as Head Coach. His record at Oregon was 116 wins and 55 losses. His teams reached No. 2 national ranking in 2001 with an 11-1 record including a victory over Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl.

During his tenure at Oregon Bellotti saw great changes in the football program. Part of the reason for that great success was the fact Bellotti was able to keep a solid core of assistant coaches at the school and that continuity help create a mystic of Oregon being "where you wanted to stay."

Several of Bellotti's assistants are still at Oregon including defensive coordinator Don Pellum, running backs coach Gary Campbell, secondary coach John Neal and tight ends and special teams coach Tom Osborne.

Several former offensive coordinators and assistants moved on to head coaching positions including Washington's Chris Peterson, former ASU coach Dirk Koetter, former Cal coach Jeff Tedford, current Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and current Oregon coach Mark Helfrich.

Bellotti laughed when asked about the difference between now and when he started coaching and promptly responded, "it wasn't about money."

Looking forward Bellotti feels that there is too much pressure on young student athletes in recruiting and thinks that the process should be slowed down.

Bellotti along with other 2014 inductees will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 9 at New York City's Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

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