SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Longtime Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said Friday he will retire following next week's game against Texas in the Alamo Bowl, revealing that he wanted to step away after last season but didn't once Chip Kelly bolted for the NFL.
Aliotti has spent 24 years with the Ducks, including 17 as defensive coordinator. After Oregon won the Fiesta Bowl last season, Aliotti said he was so certain that he coached his final game that he grabbed a chunk of turf from the field and stuffed it in a plastic bag, which remains in his briefcase.
But when Kelly left to coach Philadelphia, Aliotti said he stuck around to ease the transition for first-year Ducks coach Mark Helfrich.
"In a perfect world, if I was really selfish, I wouldn't have coached this year," Aliotti said. "I don't want this to be misconstrued. I felt like it would be for the betterment of the program if I stayed."
Aliotti, 59, said he always planned to retire by 60. He acknowledged having some second thoughts about never taking a head coaching job but said he was grateful to leave the profession on his terms.