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Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti to retire after bowl


Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will retire after the Ducks face Texas in the Alamo Bowl next Monday, first reported.

The school confirmed Aliotti's departure in a press release.

"I've been fortunate to enjoy a great career and to step away from the game when I felt the time was right. Now is that time," Aliotti said.

Aliotti, 59, has presided over some of the most underrated defenses in college football since returning to Oregon in 1999. Overshadowed by Chip Kelly's spread-option wizardry, Aliotti's defense led the nation in takeaways in 2010 and 2012.

In that 2010 campaign, Oregon ranked 12th in the FBS in points allowed (18.69 points per game) and held an Auburn offense led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton to 22 points in a three-point loss in the BCS championship game.

Aliotti also played a key role in developing such future NFL standouts as defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, safety Jairus Byrd and linebackers Kiko Alonso and Dion Jordan, and was appreciated in college football circles for his quick wit and willingness to say exactly what he felt.

Aliotti was at Oregon for 24 seasons during three different stints under four head coaches, beginning his coaching career there as a graduate assistant in 1978.

"I'm not resigning; I'm not going somewhere else," Aliotti told players after practice Friday. "I'm a Duck."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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