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Report: Mark Helfrich is Bears OC, out of Arizona coaching search

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, left, and Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez speak prior to their Pac-12 Conference championship NCAA college football game Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich has agreed to join the Chicago Bears as offensive coordinator under new head coach Matt Nagy, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and that means he’s out of the running to become the Arizona Wildcats’ head coach.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and the Chicago Sun Times’ Adam Jahns, Helfrich might’ve had a choice to join the Wildcats or head to Chicago for his first NFL job.

The Oregon native has made stops at Boise State (1998-2000), Arizona State (2001-2005), Colorado (2006-08) and Oregon (2009-2012) as an assistant. He became the replacement to head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon and coached the Ducks from 2013-16 before spending this past season as an analyst.

Kelly, the newly-hired UCLA coach, had interest in adding Helfrich as his offensive coordinator, according to Jahns.

Arizona’s coaching search to replace fired coach Rich Rodriguez continues.

Reports that former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel was a serious candidate were rebuffed on Wednesday.

Former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin remains a candidate, according to WildcatAuthority.com’s Jason Scheer. Current Western Kentucky head coach and former Stanford assistant Mike Sanford, who has made pit stops at Boise State and Notre Dame in the last few years, is now in the mix.

Western Kentucky Athletic Director Todd Stewart told reporters that Sanford denied that he was considering the Arizona job.

Previously, former LSU coach Les Miles’ name cropped up with regard to the Arizona job opening. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg added that Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin and Troy head coach Neal Brown were also discussed.

Sources told FootballScoop.com that Brown and Neuheisel are no longer in the running.

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