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It's official: Mario Cristobal is leaving Oregon for Miami

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Mario Cristobal is indeed headed back home to Miami.

Oregon announced Cristobal’s departure on Monday just a few hours after Miami’s dismissal of Manny Diaz was confirmed. Later Monday afternoon, Miami confirmed that it has hired Cristobal, who will head back to his native South Florida to coach his alma mater.

“My family and I are excited to return home to the University of Miami, which has been so instrumental in shaping me as a person, player, and coach,” Cristobal said. “This program has an unparalleled tradition and an exciting future ahead of it. I can’t wait to compete for championships and help mold our student-athletes into leaders on and off the field who will make our University, our community, and our loyal fan base proud.”

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said Cristobal informed the university of his decision Monday morning. Cristobal also reportedly met with his players to inform them of his decision.

"We appreciate all of Mario's accomplishments and hard work here at Oregon, and we wish him and his family all the best in their next chapter," Mullens saiid. "The University of Oregon is a prestigious academic institution with a football program that is well-positioned for continued success in the future, and the search is underway to find another excellent football coach to lead and support our student-athletes moving forward."

Mullens said a nationwide search for Oregon's next coach is already underway. An interim coach for the Ducks' game against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl "will be determined as soon as possible," the school said.

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal watches the action during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)
Mario Cristobal went 35-13 with the Ducks. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)

Cristobal won 2 Pac-12 titles at Oregon

Cristobal spent four seasons as Oregon’s head coach and amassed a 35-13 overall record with two Pac-12 titles. The Ducks won the conference title in 2019 and 2020. This year, the Ducks had a big early season road upset over Ohio State but two blowout losses to Utah sunk their College Football Playoff chances. The second loss to the Utes came in Friday night’s Pac-12 title game.

Cristobal became Oregon’s head coach in late 2017 after Willie Taggart departed Eugene for the Florida State job after just one season. Cristobal was Oregon’s co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach that year before being promoted to head coach.

Prior to his time in Eugene, Cristobal had stints as an assistant at Miami, Rutgers and Alabama. He also had a six-year run as the head coach at Florida International from 2007 to 2012. At FIU, Cristobal led the long-struggling program to its first two bowl games.

Now Cristobal is headed back to the state of Florida and Oregon is back in the market for a head coach. And with Lincoln Riley now in place at USC, it’s a big-time hire for the university as it aims to remain among the top teams in the Pac-12.

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