Bears Finalizing Coaching Staff, Name Three More

Chicago officially announces hiring of Helfrich, Tabor, London to coaching staff

LAKE FOREST - Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy Friday announced the hiring of Mark Helfrich as the team’s offensive coordinator, Chris Tabor as special teams coordinator and Charles London as running backs coach.

Helfrich most recently served as the head coach at the University of Oregon from 2013-16 where he compiled a 37-16 overall record during his four years, including a 24-12 mark in the Pac-12. He enjoyed his best season in 2014 in leading the Ducks to a school-record 13 wins, a Pac-12 championship, a Rose Bowl victory in the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinal and an appearance in the CFP national championship game. Also that season, quarterback Marcus Mariota became the first Oregon player to win the Heisman Trophy before being selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. In recognition of his efforts, Helfrich was finalist for the Eddie Robinson and Maxwell Football Club Coach of the Year.

Prior to becoming the head coach in Eugene, Helfrich served as the offensive coordinator for former head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon from 2009-12. During that time the Ducks played in four straight BCS bowls and won three consecutive Pac-12 championships. Under Helfrich and Kelly’s tutelage, Oregon’s offense averaged 44.7 points per game and 283.4 yards rushing while putting up more than 500 yards of total offense per game. The 2012 season featured one of the top offensive seasons in Oregon history as the Ducks averaged 49.6 points and 537.4 yards per game.

Prior to his arrival at Oregon, Helfrich served three seasons in the same capacity at Colorado (2006-08), five years as quarterbacks coach at Arizona State (2001-05) - which included his final three campaigns in Tempe, Ariz., as passing game coordinator - and three seasons as quarterbacks coach at Boise State (1998-2000).

It didn’t take long for Helfrich to be recognized for his impact on the Ducks’ offensive success as he was named by FootballScoop as its National Quarterbacks Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012, in addition to being one of three finalists as its national offensive coordinator of the year honor.

Helfrich began his coaching career as running backs coach at Southern Oregon in 1996 before playing and coaching (offensive coordinator) in Europe with the Vienna (Austria) Vikings in the winter of 1997.

Helfrich spent the 2017 season working as a college football analyst for Fox Sports.

Helfrich’s Coaching Career:

Year           Location                            Position
1992-95      Southern Oregon               Quarterback (Player)
1996          Southern Oregon                Running Backs
1997          Vienna (Austria) Vikings     Player (QB)/Offensive Coordinator
1997          University of Oregon           Graduate Assistant
1998-00     Boise State                       Quarterbacks
2001-02     Arizona State                    Quarterbacks
2003-05     Arizona State                    Passing Game Coordinator
2006-08     University of Colorado        Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2009-12     University of Oregon          Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2013-16     University of Oregon          Head Coach
2018         Chicago Bears                  Offensive Coordinator

This is Tabor’s second stint with the Bears, originally holding the title of assistant special teams coach with the club from 2008-2010. He spent the last seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns as their special teams coordinator.

Since joining Cleveland in 2011, the Browns ranked sixth in kickoff return average against (21.8), seventh in the NFL in punt return average (9.9), ninth in total kick return yards (8,974) and 10th in total return yards allowed (7,627).

Under Tabor’s watch, the Browns were the only team in the NFL to have earned at least one AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award each season from 2011-2016. In total, the Browns won seven AFC Special Teams Player of the Week awards. He also oversaw kicker Phil Dawson and returner Joshua Cribbs in 2012 when were both were selected to the Pro Bowl, marking just the second time in team history that two specialists made the annual all-star game in the same year.

During his seven seasons with the Browns, Tabor helped numerous players set NFL and franchise records. Punter Britton Colquitt set the Browns net punting average record in consecutive seasons with 40.3 in 2016 and 40.6 in 2017. Tabor’s punters hold four of the Browns top five single season net punting marks with Colquitt holding the top two spots, Andy Lee placing third (40.1 in 2015) and Spencer Lanning checking in at fifth (39.2 in 2014). In 2015, kicker Travis Coons set an NFL record with 18 consecutive field goals to start his career, while Andy Lee set a franchise record in punt average with 46.71.

Tabor’s Coaching Career:

Years        Location                             Position
1997-99    University of Missouri           Offensive Graduate Assistant
2000        University of Missouri           Running Backs and Special Teams
2001        Culver-Stockton College       Head Coach
2002-04    Utah State University          Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers
2005        Utah State University          Running Backs and Special Teams
2006-07    W. Michigan University       Running Backs and Special Teams
2008-10    Chicago Bears                   Assistant Special Teams
2011-17    Cleveland Browns               Special Teams Coordinator
2018        Chicago Bears                   Special Teams Coordinator

London has spent nine seasons in the NFL, the past four as the running backs coach for the Houston Texans. He returns to Chicago after serving as an offensive assistant with the Bears from 2007-09.

The Texans’ ground game was instrumental in the team winning back-to-back AFC South crowns in 2015-16 and posting three consecutive winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. In London’s first three years with the team, the Texans ranked third in the AFC and sixth in the NFL in rushing. This past season the Texans finished seventh in the AFC 115.1 rushing yards per game.

In 2016, the Texans featured the eighth-best rushing attack in the NFL, averaging 116.2 yards per game and rushing for 1,859 yards as a team. In Lamar Miller’s first season with the Texans, he set career highs in carries (268) and 100-yard games (4) and topped 1,000 rushing yards for the second time in his five-year career, becoming just the fourth player in Texans history to accomplish the feat.

Prior to coaching in Houston, London spent two seasons (2012-13) at Penn State as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. During his time there London was key in the progression of RB Zach Zwinak, who rushed for 1,989 yards from 2012-13, good for the third-most rushing yards by a running back in the Big Ten in that time.

In 2011, London served as offensive assistant and quality control coach for the Tennessee Titans and spent the 2010 season as a pro scout for the Philadelphia Eagles. Prior to that, he worked three years as an offensive assistant with the Chicago Bears (2007-09) – his first year as a quality control coach on offense and his final two years as offensive assistant/assistant wide receivers coach.

London also has three years of coaching experience at his alma mater, Duke (2004-06). He started as a graduate assistant in his first two years and was elevated to running backs coach in his final season.

London’s Coaching Career:

Years           Location                         Position
2004-05        Duke                             Graduate Assistant
2006            Duke                             Running Backs
2007            Chicago Bears               Offensive Quality Control
2008-09       Chicago Bears               Offensive Asst./Asst. Wide Receivers
2010           Philadelphia Eagles         Pro Scout
2011           Tennessee Titans            Offensive Asst./Quality Control
2012-13       Penn State                    Running Backs
2014-17      Houston Texans              Running Backs
2018           Chicago Bears               Running Backs

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