University of Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich announced the addition of three graduate assistant coaches and two interns Wednesday as part of the completion of his initial football coaching and support staff.
Joining the Ducks as graduate assistant coaches will be former Tennessee quality control assistant Joe Bernardi, former Colorado defensive back Cha’pelle (pronounced sha-PEL) Brown, and former Oregon quarterback Nate Costa.
The trio will join Mike Keldorf, who remains on staff after serving as an Oregon graduate assistant coach at Oregon during the 2012 season following four years as a football intern.
In addition, former Oregon student equipment manager and player development volunteer Matt Noyer has been named a football intern, along with eight-year NFL veteran Carlos Polk.
Bernardi worked with the Volunteers’ offensive line for the past two seasons following the completion of his collegiate career as a four-year starting center at Fresno State in 2010. The communications graduate was named to the Remington Award watch list prior to his junior and senior seasons. His father, Gary, is a 32-year Division I collegiate coaching veteran, including stops at Colorado (first year), Arizona, UCLA and USC.
Brown served as an undergraduate coach at Colorado in 2011 and a GA a year ago after completing a four-year playing career with the Buffaloes that culminated in the defensive back being named team MVP and a second-team all-Big 12 Conference standout in 2009. The sociology graduate and three-year starter was at Colorado for the same three years that Helfrich served as the program’s offensive coordinator (2006-08).
Costa endured an injury-plagued career to complete 50 of 71 passes for 556 yards and two touchdowns during the Ducks’ 2009 Rose Bowl run and 2010 BCS National Championship Game campaign. The sociology graduate was voted his team’s most inspirational player following a senior season that featured him completing 75.8 percent of his passes and running for 138 yards and two scores in nine appearances in 2010.
Noyer served as a student assistant in the equipment room for three years before receiving his undergraduate degree in general social science from Oregon in the spring of 2012. He then volunteered in the athletics department in the areas of player development and on-campus recruiting until his current appointment.
Polk was a first-team All-America linebacker at Nebraska in 2000 and two-time first-team all-Big 12 Conference standout before being drafted in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL draft by San Diego. He accumulated 112 tackles in seven seasons with the Chargers before completing his playing career with Dallas in 2008.
Bernardi, Costa and Noyer will work with the school’s offensive staff while Brown, Keldorf and Polk will assistant the Ducks’ defensive coaches.
Oregon starts spring practice on Tuesday, April 2.