EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon has fired head football coach Mark Helfrich.

Helfrich was notified of the decision after a meeting with athletic director Rob Mullens Tuesday night.

"We want to thank Mark for his eight years with the University of Oregon and appreciate his efforts on behalf of Oregon football," Mullens said. "We wish Mark and his family the best."

The decision comes after days of speculation on Helfrich's future. The Ducks went 4-8 this year, their first losing season since 2004. It ended with a 34-24 loss to Oregon State, the Ducks' first Civil War loss since 2007.

Helfrich went 37-16 in his four years as head coach and led the Ducks to an appearance in the 2015 national championship game. He went 11-2, 13-2 and 9-4 in his first three seasons. Helfrich was the team's offensive coordinator before replacing Chip Kelly as coach.

His buyout is more than $11 million.

"It is a great honor to have served as the head football coach at the University of Oregon," Helfrich said. "It is with respect and disappointment that we receive this decision. Plain and simple — we didn't win enough games this season.

"Thank you first to my wife, Megan, and our family, the fans, the campus community, the board, our donors and administration. To our coaches, staff and their families, it is impossible to communicate my gratitude for the environment we got to work in every single day.

"Finally, to the players — thank you, and I love you. The future is bright for this young, talented team, and we will be supporting them and their new leadership."

The Ducks have not named a new head coach.

Photos: 2016 Civil War