Don Pellum replaces Nick Aliotti as Duck defensive coordinator

EUGENE, Ore. - The Ducks have a new defensive coordinator.

Head coach Mark Helfrich officially named Don Pellum to the position Tuesday.

He replaces Nick Aliotti, who retired as the school's defensive coordinator after 17 seasons following Oregon's 30-7 win over Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

"Don Pellum is a great teacher and one of the best communicators I have ever been around," Helfrich emphasized. "The entire defense will benefit from his demanding preparation, with an emphasis on discipline and relentless effort."

Pellum has coached linebackers, safeties and defensive linemen from 23 years at Oregon.

Pellum came to Oregon 30 years ago as a player.

His early career took him to Willamette University in Salem and the University of California, Berkeley, before he returned to Eugene in 1993.

"This is a challenge I welcome with open arms," Pellum said. "I have been fortunate to enjoy a long relationship at an institution that means a lot to me as well as the luxury to work with a lot of class coaches and athletes."

"I have never learned or grown so much under a single coach than I did under Coach Pellum," former Duck linebacker Michael Clay said. "He immediately commands the respect from his players unlike anyone I have ever come across and gets the max out of everyone he comes into contact with.

Pellum has experience under four different Oregon head coaches and seven separate defensive coordinators.

"I certainly have benefitted from the knowledge handed down to me from numerous head coaches and coordinators but head into this next phase of my career anxious to implement ideas of my own," Pellum said.

The 51-year-old Southern California native has spent the past 14 seasons overseeing the program's linebackers. He will continue to do so in addition to his duties as defensive coordinator.