Don Pellum to be Oregon DC

What had been rumored for days became official when Oregon announced the promotion of longtime assistant Don Pellum to defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

Pellum replaces another Oregon institution, Nick Aliotti, who retired after 17 seasons following the Ducks' 30-7 victory against Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Pellum will retain his role as linebackers coach, where the 51-year-old has spent the last 14 seasons.

"This is a challenge I welcome with open arms," Pellum said in a statement. "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 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."

Oregon ranked second in the Pac-12 last year in scoring defense, allowing 20.5 points per game, and was third in total defense and first in pass defense -- allowing a league-low 14 touchdowns in the air while nabbing 17 interceptions.

"Don Pellum is a great teacher and one of the best communicators I have ever been around," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "The entire defense will benefit from his demanding preparation, with an emphasis on discipline and relentless effort. The cultural continuity is a bonus in elevating DP to a position of greater leadership and influence in our program."

The former Ducks linebacker started his coaching career at Oregon as a graduate assistant in 1985 and had stops at Willamette University and Cal before returning to Eugene in 1993.

The Ducks finished the 2013 season 11-2 and was ranked ninth in the final AP poll.