- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Bellotti’s election was announced Thursday by the National Football Foundation. He will be formally inducted along with the other members of this year’s Hall of Fame Class on Dec. 9 in New York.

Bellotti coached at Oregon for 14 seasons and was the school’s all-time winningest coach. He stepped down in 2008 and briefly served as Oregon’s athletic director before taking a job in broadcasting.

“I miss coaching a ton on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning,” Bellotti said during a teleconference with reporters on Thursday. “I don’t miss it Monday through Thursday. I miss being around the coaches and the players. That camaraderie, that family, that foxhole mentality - you can’t mimic it on the outside.”


He is the Ducks’ eighth overall member of the Hall of Fame and first since Ahmad Rashad in 2007. He’s the third coach, joining Hugo Bezdek and Len Casanova.

“Congratulations to Coach Bellotti on being recognized with the most prestigious honor in college football,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said in a statement. “Mike played an important role in Oregon football history and we are extremely pleased he is being acknowledged for his accomplishments.”

Bellotti was offensive coordinator of the Ducks for six seasons under Rich Brooks before he was named head coach in 1995. He led Oregon to 12 bowl games in 14 seasons, including the Fiesta Bowl victory over Colorado in 2001 when the Ducks finished No. 2.

He is widely credited with ushering the Ducks into national prominence.

“It’s somewhat surreal when you look at some of the pictures of where we came from,” Bellotti said. “It’s still hard for everybody to say ‘Wow, look at this. What an amazing transformation over time.’”

Bellotti joins Jerry Moore, who coached at North Texas, Texas Tech and Appalachian State, who was also elected to the Hall of Fame on Thursday, along with 14 players, including LaDainian Tomlinson, Sterling Sharpe and the late Derrick Thomas.