What had been rumored for days became official when Oregon announced the promotion of longtime assistant Don Pellum to defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

Pellum replaces another Oregon institution, Nick Aliotti, who retired after 17 seasons following the Ducks' 30-7 victory against Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Pellum will retain his role as linebackers coach, where the 51-year-old has spent the last 14 seasons.

"This is a challenge I welcome with open arms," Pellum said in a statement. "I have been fortunate to enjoy a long relationship at an institution that means a lot to me as well as the luxury to work with a lot of class coaches and athletes.

"I certainly have benefitted from the knowledge handed down to me from numerous head coaches and coordinators but head into this next phase of my career anxious to implement ideas of my own."

Oregon ranked second in the Pac-12 last year in scoring defense, allowing 20.5 points per game, and was third in total defense and first in pass defense -- allowing a league-low 14 touchdowns in the air while nabbing 17 interceptions.