Expect the Oregon Ducks defense to give its 110 percent against the Texas Longhorns when the two face off in the 2013 Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 (6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN).
That’s because Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will be coaching the final game of his career, via CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman:
Nick Aliotti will announce that he is retiring and that the Alamo Bowl game against Texas will be his last game as Oregon's defensive coordinator, a source told CBS on Friday. An official announcement is expected later in the day.
The Ducks soon after confirmed the report, via GoDucks.com.
Following team practice, Aliotti made sure the team knew where his loyalties lie:
Nick Aliotti told the team of his retirement after practice today. "I'm not resigning; I'm not going somewhere else. I'm a Duck." #GoDucks— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) December 27, 2013
The 59-year-old has spent the last 36 years prowling the sidelines as an assistant coach.
Aside from Oregon, Aliotti has coached with Oregon State (running backs), Chico State (offensive coordinator), UCLA (defensive coordinator) and even spent three seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams (special teams).
But the Walnut Creek, Calif. native has spent the majority of his career in Eugene. He was a graduate assistant from 1978-79, the outside linebackers’ coach from 1988-92, the defensive coordinator from 1993-94 and again as defensive coordinator from 1999 onward.
Although the Ducks are most prominently known for their flashy uniforms and high-powered offense, Aliotti’s defense has been instrumental to the team putting together six consecutive 10-win seasons. Oregon has ranked inside the top 50 in total defense in four of the last five years.
Furthermore, the team has finished in the top 25 in turnover margin in each of the last four seasons, including No. 1 in 2012.
The job Aliotti has done this season has been commendable. He has taken a defense ravaged by the loss of players and a staff shakeup following Chip Kelly’s departure to the NFL, and turned them into a formidable unit.
Aliotti will present the Ducks next defensive coordinator with some pretty large shoes to fill.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBstats.com.