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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Vic Fangio is returning to the Chicago Bears as defensive coordinator after being passed up for their head coaching job.
Fangio re-signed Friday and will continue to lead a defense he helped transform the past three seasons. He was the first candidate to interview for the Bears’ coaching job after John Fox was fired, but general manager Ryan Pace ultimately decided to go with former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy.
Fangio was free to go elsewhere after his contract expired. Before he arrived in Chicago, the Bears’ defense ranked among the worst in franchise history. They were more than respectable in 2017 under Fangio despite losing several players to injuries, including linebacker Leonard Floyd.
Chicago’s defense ranked 10th overall, seventh against the pass, ninth in scoring and 11th against the run.
With Fangio back, the Bears have filled all three coordinator spots.
The team announced Friday that it has hired former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich as offensive coordinator and Chris Tabor as special teams coordinator. The Bears also brought in Charles London to coach running backs and Mike Furrey as wide receivers coach.
Helfrich led Oregon to a 37-16 record in four seasons. That included a run to the first College Football Playoff championship game during the 2014 season with Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota at quarterback. He was fired after a 4-8 finish in 2016.
Before becoming the Ducks’ coach, Helfrich was their quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2009-12 under Chip Kelly. With their fast-paced and prolific spread-option offense, the Ducks went 46-7 during that span.