According to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, Nick Aliotti will retire after the Alamo Bowl. An offical announcement is expected later in the day. This news comes through Feldman's sources, but has been long rumored on many message boards.
Update: Aliotti's retiring is now confirmed by the Athletic Department.
Aliotti has coached at Oregon for 21 seasons, through 3 different stints. He's led some of the best defenses in Oregon history. His "Gang Green" defense in 1994 led Oregon to their first Rose Bowl in 37 years. His defenses under the Chip Kelly era helped Oregon move from Pac-12 contender to national title contender.
But he'll definitely leave Oregon with conflicting opinions. Many (including our own David Piper) have called for his firing over the years. The defense struggled for much of the 2000s, and came up short in the biggest games this season.
But despite the ups and downs, Aliotti's passion for his players and for the game, and his legendary interviews, will be missed.
Hopefully the defense will send him out on a high note on Monday. And from there, Coach Helfrich will have a very important decision to make. As an offensive minded coach, who he picks as defensive coordinator could end up defining his success as a coach.
Nick Aliotti told the team of his retirement after practice today. "I'm not resigning; I'm not going somewhere else. I'm a Duck." #GoDucks— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) December 27, 2013
NA told Ducks there's "never a right time to say this." Didn't want to be a distraction. "What this is about is winning the Alamo Bowl."— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) December 27, 2013
No coach has meant or done more to me in my life than Coach Al. #RealTalk— Avery Patterson (@Averyp21) December 27, 2013