Oregon gives Helfrich 5-year extension

Eugene, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Oregon has rewarded Mark Helfrich with a five-year contract extension worth at least $17.5 million after the most successful two-year start for a football coach in school history.

Helfrich, whose Ducks were upset by Ohio State in last month's national title game, will be guaranteed $3.15 million next season, with his salary increasing to a maximum of $3.8 million in the final year of the agreement, the school said Monday evening.

The extension runs through Jan. 31, 2020. Helfrich, 41, was hired two years ago to replace Chip Kelly, who left to coach the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

The Ducks are 24-4 and have won two bowl games under Helfrich, who had been their offensive coordinator since 2009 before his promotion to coach.

"Mark has provided tremendous leadership of our football program and the values and character that he insists upon are in line with our mission as an institution," Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement.

"The success of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom will continue with Mark's leadership and we are thrilled that he will stay at home in Oregon for a long time to come."

Helfrich's extension will automatically be rolled over one year if the Ducks reach 11 wins in a season, provided one of the wins comes in one of the six bowl games played on New Year's Eve and Day under the new College Football Playoff.

He would owe Oregon $3 million if he leaves for another coaching job before the second year of the extension is up. The number drops to $2 million prior to the third and fourth years and $1 million prior to the final year of the deal.