UO football adds new passing game coordinator

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EUGENE, Ore. — University of Oregon head football coach Mark Helfrich has announced the addition of Matt Lubick to his staff as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach.

Lubick, who brings 17 years of collegiate coaching experience to Eugene, spent the past three seasons in a similar capacity while also serving as recruiting coordinator at Duke University, culminating in his being named the 2012 Wide Receivers Coach of the Year by FootballScoop.com.

“First and foremost, Matt is a great person with tremendous character,” Helfrich said. “His football pedigree and knowledge of both sides of the ball make him an ideal addition to our staff. Matt’s reputation as a clinical coach and tireless recruiter are well-earned.”

A former Pac-10 assistant at Arizona State and Oregon State, Lubick, 42, takes over tutelage of UO’s receiving unit from Scott Frost, whose role on staff will be changing this offseason.

At Duke, Lubick earned national position coach accolades after guiding All-ACC wideouts Jamison Crowder and Conner Vernon to record-setting seasons. Crowder caught 76 passes for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns while Vernon carded a school single-season record 85 catches for 1,074 yards and eight TDs. The pair established an ACC record for most combined receptions by a duo and became just the second tandem in conference history to post over 1,000 receiving yards each in the same year.

Also In 2012, Lubick coached three receivers – Crowder, Desmond Scott and Vernon – that formed the only trio nationally to have 65-plus pass receptions apiece. The group combined for 227 catches for 2,814 yards and 18 touchdowns while helping the Blue Devils to postseason play for the first time since 1994. In addition, Vernon – a three-time All-ACC pick – closed his career as the ACC’s all-time leader in both pass receptions (283) and receiving yards (3,749).

As a result, Lubick was one of three finalists for the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year award and one of 29 nominees for the Broyles Award, an honor presented annually to the top assistant coach in the nation.

In 2011, the Blue Devils ranked second in the ACC in passing offense while Vernon became the first player in league history to post multiple seasons with 70-plus receptions. In addition, wideout Donovan Varner eclipsed the school’s all-time catch record, closing his career with 207 receptions – matching the fourth-highest total in ACC history.

Duke’s 2011 passing attack featured four players – Varner, Vernon, wideout Brandon Braxton and tight end Cooper Helfet – that caught 40 or more passes, matching the school record set in 1982.

Following Lubick’s arrival in Durham in February of 2010, Vernon enjoyed a terrific season with 73 receptions for 973 yards and four touchdowns. The All-ACC choice paced the conference in receptions per game (6.08) while his 73 catches fell one short of the school single-season. In addition, Vernon coupled with Varner (60 receptions, 736 yards) and Austin Kelly (47 receptions, 486 yards) to form the most prolific pass-catching trio in school history with a combined 180 grabs for 2,195 yards.

Duke’s passing attack ranked second in the ACC in 2010 as quarterback Sean Renfree became just the fourth player in school history to throw for 3,000 or more yards. Additionally, the Blue Devils had five players – Vernon, Varner, Kelly, tight end Cooper Helfet (34) and Scott (34) – with 30 or more receptions for the just the second time in school history.

Prior to elevating the Blue Devils passing game and recruiting, Lubick spent three seasons (2007-09) on the staff at Arizona State. With the Sun Devils, Lubick served as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator while coaching the safeties. In his three seasons spearheading the Sun Devils’ recruiting efforts, Arizona State’s classes ranked 17th (2008), 36th (2009) and 27th (2010) by Scout.com and 21st (2008), 30th (2009) and 35th (2010) by Rivals.com. In 2007, Lubick helped the Sun Devils to a 10-3 overall record that included a share of the Pac-10 championship, a final national ranking of No. 16 and an appearance in the Holiday Bowl.

Lubick is credited with signing Vontaze Burfict, the highest-rated prospect in Arizona State football history, as well as former Ole Miss standout Dexter McClusker while on staff in Oxford. McClusker was an All-SEC pick in 2009 after becoming the first player in league history to amass over 1,000 rushing yards and over 500 receiving yards in the same season. Lubick was named one of the top-10 recruiters in the Pac-10 by Rivals.com in each of his three years with the Sun Devils.

In 1995, Lubick got his start in coaching as a student assistant coach and academic supervisor under his father Sonny at Colorado State University. He then coached one season (1996) at California State-Northridge and two campaigns (1997-98) at San Jose State. From 1999-00, Lubick was on the staff at Oregon State where he coached the defensive backs while helping coordinate the Beavers’ recruiting efforts. In 2000, Oregon State enjoyed its finest season on the gridiron by posting an 11-1 overall ledger and defeating Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

A 1995 graduate of Colorado State, Lubick returned to his alma mater for a four-year stint on the coaching staff from 2001-04. Coaching the Rams’ wide receivers, he helped Colorado State to the 2002 Mountain West Conference championship as well as three straight bowl games in 2001 (New Orleans), 2002 (Liberty) and 2003 (San Francisco). Lubick then served two years (2005-06) on the staff at Ole Miss, coaching the wide receivers.

A native of Bozeman, Mont., Lubick attended Western Montana College where he earned four varsity letters as a defensive back on the football team and earned all-conference and NAIA All-America honors as a senior. He earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science from Colorado State in 1995.