After an extensive search, Oregon Football did not have to go far to find their next Defensive Coordinator.
As Andy Avalos left Oregon Football for his dream job and coaching at his alma mater at Boise State, the Ducks had a hole to fill. On Friday, they hired Tim DeRuyter from the California Golden Bears as their new defensive coordinator.
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After an extensive national search, Head Coach Mario Cristobal did not have to go far to find his man. DeRuyter has head coaching experience having coached Fresno State. Most recently he has been with the California Golden Bears as Defensive Coordinator for the last four seasons. For DeRuyter, the progression of improvement has been there.
He took one of the worse defensive units in the conference and in four years turned them into one of the middle-of-the-pack teams in the Pac-12. California in 2019 ranked inside the top 30 in several categories including sacks, passing yards allowed, and total defense. With the talent he has on the field with Oregon Football in 2021 and his experience, he could help produce one of the best defenses in the conference, if not the country in 2021.
Oregon Football’s search for a defensive coordinator was extensive. Multiple college coaches and several NFL coaches were in the mix but in the end, Cristobal decided his best option was in his own backyard of sorts.
The Oregon Ducks struggled at times on defense in 2020. Avalos had a limited amount of players to work with. Some inexperienced players saw the field due to opt-outs from the pandemic. They struggled against the run in three games, allowing over 200 yards on the ground, including a new Pac-12 record against Oregon State and Jermar Jefferson. The Ducks also lost on the road at California and were unable to find their offensive spark during the second half.
According to Dave Bartoo from the College Football Matrix, it was a great hire by the Ducks, “On paper, every hire is a risk. The easiest way I can put this to a Ducks fan, Andy Avalos is a very good defensive coordinator. On paper the Ducks just upgraded. Tim Deruyter is a better guy. His numbers are better. He’s a shutdown Defensive Coordinator.” Bartoo went on to say that he also has a solid reach into Texas when it comes to recruiting from his time there, “Highly underrated. Oregon has to reach a long way to recruit. DeRuyter has Texas connections and is a better recruiter.”
Tim DeRuyter is 58, and I expect the Oregon Football position may be a stepping stone for him to jump to a head coaching role in the future. It could also be a final destination as he looks to prove himself further on the defensive side of the ball.
He comes to Eugene with plenty of opportunities and a team that is loaded with talent including Kayvon Thibodeaux and Noah Sewell. Oregon has played and won the last two Pac-12 Championship games. To close out the 2020 season, they came up short against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Quotes obtained in a phone conversation with Dave Bartoo from the College Football Matrix