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Coos Bay, Marshfield community reacts to Helfrich firing

(SBG photo)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- We learned earlier this week that Mark Helfrich will no longer be the head coach of University of Oregon's football team.

While he's been in the spotlight as a coach, some may not know about the Coos Bay native off the field.

Helfrich always had a love for football. He was a quarterback and kicker for Marshfield High School.

"He was the guy who put in the extra time in the weight room, put in the extra time on the football field in the off season, and would get a group of guys together and go throw the ball," says Floyd Montiel, a Helfrich friend since 6th grade.

Several years later Helfrich became the head coach at Oregon.

"It doesn't matter if you're someone who's setting up the Moshofsky Center to someone higher up in the offices, he treats everyone the same,” says Montiel. “He really values what people are made of and that's what makes Mark special."

Earlier this week Oregon fired Helfrich. It was the first time the university has fired a head football coach in 40 years.

"I guess they didn't get the wins that they needed, whatever,” says Montiel. “He's going to get another job, and he's going to be successful and he's still going to make us proud like he's done all the time. I'm just really happy to know him and I'm really happy that he's from Coos Bay."

"He's the kind of guy that you would want representing your school,” says Marshfield head varsity football coach Josh Line, “and he's talented, not just that he's a great guy and he does everything right in terms of how he conducts himself off the field, but his ability to coach is, in my opinion, one of the tops in the nation."

Those close to Helfrich say the way he's handled adversity this week shows how he's a class act and role model for the Coos Bay community.

"He needs to know that the Marshfield family loves him and will always love him," said Greg Mulkey, Helfrich’s high school kicking coach.

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