Mario Cristobal’s exit from the Ducks’ football program will have heavy implications on the future for Our Beloved Ducks in decades beyond. He has been an incredible recruiter for Oregon since taking over as head coach, and the culture building under his guidance feels rock solid. We all can agree the team appears destined for greatness under his reign after a dominant Rose Bowl victory pre-COVID, as he himself has called Oregon the, “best program in the country.” Unfortunately we must try to objectively broach the subject of him leaving despite being massive fans of the program.
I’m not saying it’s particularly likely that Cristobal will leave Oregon soon, but we have to at least ask the question: what criteria would have to be met for Cristobal to leave for another program or the NFL?
From what we’ve seen so far while at Oregon, it appears the next step for Cristobal would have to be to the pro level. In my eyes we have one more offseason before the NFL calls start coming in (if they haven’t already), and Cristobal will inevitably be on that short list. The Ducks’ COVID season shouldn’t have much of an impact on his resume up to this point, which is something I doubt that many pro teams would weigh heavily in their process for pursuing a new coach.
His work at Oregon in convincing blue chip talent from all over the country to come to a far less competitive PAC-12 over SEC heavyweights has been nothing short of spectacular, and other teambuilders like Matt Rhule have been recruited up to the pro level recently, so it’s not out of the question that the sheep-think league will follow suit with coaches like Cristobal.
Aside from the pro level, I could also see Cristobal taking over an SEC program. Offers for coordinator positions at big-time programs are likely already on the table for Cristobal, but it is of course doubtful that we would see him jump ship after just beginning his new extension at Oregon.
To take over a neighboring college program, it would take at least the next two or three seasons for the Oregon program to give up on his vision and cut the extension early with a firing (which is highly doubtful to happen with the talent Cristobal has assembled). Alabama’s Nick Saban can’t coach forever, and considering Cristobal’s experience in his staff, I’m sure he’d be good for a recommendation with the Crimson Tide.
Now of course, as Duck fans, we all think highly of Cristobal. We expect loyalty, commitment to the process, and honoring of his contract set to pay him $4.55 million annually as the head coach of Oregon until 2025. I have the upmost respect for his demeanor and what he’s done for the program, and I hope that he stays with the Ducks as long as possible.
If he were to leave Oregon, however, where do you see him landing? How many years do you feel we realistically have left with Cristobal before he goes to find greener grass?
Top Photo By: Kevin Cline
Alex Heining is a third-year student at the University of Oregon. He’s working towards a bachelor of arts degree as an English major and media studies minor in journalism. Growing up in the Los Angeles area of southern California, Alex ended up a Duck through family ties, a quality football program, and the beautiful green of Lane County. Currently finishing his first science fiction novel, he wants to end up in the sports world of journalism on the west coast. Particularly, covering high school football, recruiting commits, and all things Ducks.
The Comments Below are CLOSED, as we are moving to the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!
Comments below articles are now closed as we have moved all conversation over to the free Our Beloved Ducks Forum. It has been a big success already with many more posts than what we could fit into the comments below articles.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Be a part of the forum and stay caught up! When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!