Mario Cristobal is returning home to Miami to become the Hurricanes’ next head coach. He leaves Oregon football after three seasons as head coach.
Early in the day on Monday, Miami fired coach Manny Diaz paving the way for Mario Cristobal to return to his alma mater.
There was an early morning team meeting called by Oregon where he told the players he was leaving the program. It was noted by some close to the program that this was not an easy decision for the former Oregon coach. In fact, if it was any other school there probably would not have even been a discussion.
The Ducks had an extension on the table for Cristobal to sign going into the Pac-12 Championship Game last Friday. It was never signed and now Athletic Director Rob Mullens must go back to the drawing board in the search for a new head coach. However, the program Cristobal is leaving behind is in a much better place than when he arrived following a 4-8 season when the sky was falling in Eugene.
Now, the program is on the verge of the College Football Playoff. The team in the last few seasons has played in a Rose Bowl and Pac-12 title games.
Cristobal leaves a program that in three seasons he helped build into a contender. Now, he heads to a Miami team that finished 7-5 and is headed to the Sun Bowl. I expect that Cristobal (or an interim) will coach the game as Diaz is no longer with the program. The Hurricanes will face a team that Cristobal knows fairly well in Washington State.
Oregon now begins the process of finding the next leader of their football program. It is not yet known who will coach the team in the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma at the end of the month.